Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Church Key

The pun is irresistible.  A house key cut to function as a bottle opener. 

For those who don't get the pun, and that will definitely include the person who wrote the copy in the WSJ,  a bottle opener/can opener was once upon a time referred to as a "church key."

I distinctly remember this era because whenever there were cans of beer in the vicinity of our neighbor and my father, the neighbor would ask, "whose got the church key?"  Beer cans of course in that era of my childhood were heavy gauge steel made from spent WWII howitzer shells.  You couldn't be a 98 pound weakling and crush one of those babies.  Only riveters need apply.

Cans did not have easy opening tops, and bottle caps did not twist off.  If you were at the beach and didn't bring the church key you really were a loser.  That was worse than carrying a radio with dead batteries.

So, when I saw the featured item in the Gears and Gadgets weekend section of the WSJ I thought, gee, after all these years, there really is a church key, despite its apparent inability to open a can.  No one really needs that nowadays, anyway.

Of course only someone about my age would think the pictured item is a church key.  The person who wrote the descriptive copy claims "a man's got to drink, and it beats using a lighter or your teeth."  The combined look of a key functioning as a bottle opener on your key chain will keep you from "looking like you're on spring break with your bros every time you open the front door."  I know I couldn't have said it better.

Never mind.  I'm sold.  And at $11, it's got a look that will elicit the "church key" reaction when I give it to two of my friends, whose ages, combined with mine, subtracted from the current year, would put someone back around the time of the administration of John Adams.

And I'm hardly a Luddite.  I logged on to order three.  The Web site ( doesn't work and nothing goes in my shopping cart.  Point, click, change browsers, no luck so far.

Of course I could do something as provincial as call them up and place an order. Nah. What the hell. These days I only drink bottled water with twist off caps anyway.

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