An Inspired Opener

(James M. Thresher - For The Washington Post)
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I have never heard anyone say they'd like to be reincarnated as an inanimate object, as opposed to a cat or Joan of Arc. But maybe that's because they haven't thought things through.

If I came back as a Screwpull wine opener, I'd make people happy: utilitarian, always ready to travel and quite tidy, with a warranty to boot. I would be an inexpensive, lightweight model -- not one of those Rabbit-y, expensive ones, or the kinds that require leverage and strength, or the clunky ones that, unfortunately, look like OB-GYN devices.

Because of my compact profile, I would earn a berth at the front of every kitchen junk drawer, and I would never keep it from closing the way offset spatulas and tongs can. I'd be a thing of wonder for some, an example of physics for others. People would speak of me as a "corkscrew." They would be technically incorrect. As I'd be so easy to manage, I wouldn't mind.

My Teflon-coated helix "worm" would make its way through the cork of a wine or lambic beer bottle when my handle was turned at the top, without great effort or exertion. Just keep turning, my vibe would instruct. It'll all come out in the end.

I would have skipped the copycat corkscrews and earlier iterations in favor of a compact, three-in-one design: foil cutter (embedded in the main frame), swing-arm bottle opener that folds down, polycarbonate worm. Some consumers would carp about my flimsy appearance and plastic housing, but I'd remain strong -- and be available in frosted fashion colors.

And even though I would have been manufactured in China, I'd take comfort in the American heritage of my design.

-- Bonnie S. Benwick

Screwpull 3-in-1, $8.99 at

More from this series: Introduction | Coffee Maker | Hands | Steak Knife | Wok | Add Your Favorite to the List

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