Monday, August 18, 2008

German Ingenuity

When the twist-off is regarded as something for the lower-class, the lazy, the North Americaners, the pop-top beer bottle dominates. And as necessity is the mother of invention, this means that the German Volk have invented multiple unique ways of opening bottles. Coming here I was familiar with banging a bottle off a table corner (Table Open), but that was a simpler time, and I was naive.

The quintessential way of opening you'll find here is the lighter. Meaning that many Germans who do not smoke carry around a lighter so that they can drink. Figure that one out. The method involves wedging the base of the lighter under the cap, getting some leverage, and popping the cap off that way. One must be a little brave as lighters have been known to (a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-mine) crack and trigger a small explosion. Like Russian roulette but involving alcohol. Appropriately, this is the Lighter Open.

More impressive than that is opening a beer with another beer, the I'm Really Unprepared Open. It doesn't get much better than opening a cold one using another cold one. If you want a rewarding feeling, successfully completing one of these Opens provides just that.

Rumor has it of a way involving two bottles, some sort of theatrical jump and a kick, though I'm not sure how this works, and apparently it is so rare many Germans go their entire lives and never see it. Hence the name, the Bigfoot Open.

The exact way not to open one was discovered by yours truly, when only a spoon was handy. The Spoon Open involves sliced knuckles and is not recommended to anyone. Important lesson learned in Germany: You are not German.

Ask later how I managed to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. I don't think even the Germans have figured this one yet.

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