I think this is an essential skill and I know there are a lot of ways to do it, but I had to come up with a method of my own because I put a carving knife through my left hand a few years ago and lost about 30% of the strength in that hand. Not a problem for typing or just about anything else, but when it comes to screw caps it can be a bit problematic.

Screw caps get screwed up when machinery needs tweeking. The machinery needs tweeking because the people who run the machines don't try unscrewing a cap often enough to know that the calibration is off. They don't check the calibration because they don't use the product and aren't interested enough in it to think about it.

Meanwhile, countless numbers of unsuspecting consumers find themselves utilizing various gizmos and gadgets, sometimes while holding a bottle of this or that between their knees, in an effort to break the seal.

I, never one to hold anything made of glass between my knees and not a proponent of gadgetry, have found a much simpler and dignified method of breaking the seal, relying on the strength of one hand. To wit:


Open the scissors and place the neck of the bottle between the blades, just where the little tab thingees connect the lid to that stupid ring of thin metal that never comes off and is a dead giveaway that this is a cheaply sealed bottle of whatever.

Now apply a little bit of force. Not a lot. Turn the bottle as you apply a little bit of pressure. The blades will find their way into the depression between the big metal cap and the stupid little metal ring.

This is really important: You are not trying to cut the cap from the ring. All you're doing is using the blades of the scissors as a wedge. With two, maybe three turns, the cap will spring free. It takes a little practice - perhaps two or three bottles of saké to get it right. But thereafter, no matter the contents of the bottle, the kind of cap, a pair of scissors used in the right way will take care of it.

No musss, no fuss, no bother.

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