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Not the alcoholic James Bond accessory for which I had been hoping . . .
on 24 March 2017
I'm really sorry, Collar and Cuffs. I really wanted to be like an alcoholic James Bond. I was genuinely excited when I got home from work the other day and casually removed a collar stiffener from my collar. "No bottle opener"? I said. "Well, there is now!", I exclaimed. I took the bottle of beer in my left hand. And yes, I suppose I could have used any other non-specific item to open the bottle. I could have used a lighter (classic) or a highlighter (not classic but readily available, since I don't smoke but I do highlight documents, and in fact there's a degree of subtle punning there which I hadn't previously observed, but back to the review). I could have used the flat edge of pretty much any non-flexible, hard (or disposable) object. The basic principle isn't really all that complex: you just need something which is sufficiently stiff so that when you put it under tension, the cap comes off the bottle.
Unfortunately, that is where this product falls down. I don't actually know whether it's titanium. But even a cursory glance at the thin, square cross-section should have given me pause for thought. I mean, look: "rectangle" is not a strong shape. It's not a strong cross-section. "Triangle" is good. "Square" or "rectangle", not so much. And these stiffeners are thin and flat. Inspect, if you will, the narrowest part of the shank, between the circular "eye" at the right hand side of the picture and the "notch" about an inch to its left, where it is supposed to grip the cap of the bottle. Now ask yourself: do you really think that is going to hold firm when you try to prise the cap off a bottle?
I'LL SPARE YOU THE SURPRISE, DEAR READER, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T.
I did wonder whether I was using it incorrectly. And then I thought, if I - someone who has opened plenty of bottles in his time, using some pretty unorthodox instruments, albeit not the crack-it-open-with-your-back-molars trick which I've seen girls in Scotland using - can't use this device properly; if it fails on its first attempt; then it is a fair guess that there is a fault with the product, not with me.
I've given up any thought of trying to use the screwdriver section. I think if you put this thin, flat thing under any torque (along the longitudinal axis) then it will deform even further, and I'm not going to risk it.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Collar and Cuffs, but this was a sufficiently infuriating experience that I've decided to spend a not-insubstantial chunk of my precious Friday evening communicating it.
On the plus side, the case in which they came was pretty snazzy. Fifteen quid seems like a fairly good price for collar stiffeners and in fact this experience hasn't put me off trying their other versions (the gold one, the mother of pearl one, the silvery one, etc). And they were delivered promptly. I'm ambivalent about the fact that they seemed about 3mm too big for my shirt collar - but I'm not going to blame the stiffeners when the collar might equally be the guilty party. How's that for balance?