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The i-Opener, world premier

For those of you who didn’t receive the Steve Jobs book for Christmas, all seven of you, here’s what you need to know. He was fun to work for but only if you liked getting yelled at. During his fruitarian diet stage there was a propensity not to bathe which resulted in questionable workplace aromatics. He was an industrial design perfectionist who despised poorly designed products. Even the Apple box was redesigned fifty times, which is damn fussy for a guy who didn’t believe in soap.

Though possibly not as recognized as Jobs, we at Slightly Corked are also on the cutting edge of our field, which happens to be cork extraction. Patents are pending on three of our latest techniques. One utilizing a number three wood screw, pliers and a leggy, scantily clad assistant. The next using duct tape and your mother’s vacuum (sorry, no long legged assistants at Mom’s). And finally, our “desert island” technique where a bottle of wine is opened with a shoelace. (More on this cork popping technique later.)

Considering our reputation in the cork pulling world, it didn’t come as a surprise when the call came from the Steve Jobs Foundation enlisting our help at purging the world of what must be the worst designed product out there, the cork destroying “Scarecrow” opener. Those chrome monstrosities with a cork screw on one end, a beer opener on the other and two arms which flap up and down like the arms of a scarecrow are usually found at vacation properties. Like bibles in a cheap hotel, they show up at condos, ski cabins or on yachts. Spots where you really need a corkscrew but have forgotten to bring one.

The Scarecrow opener was originally designed for the Woman’s Christian Temperance League by the legendary Mortimer Huffright who before that had designed the grill of the Edsel.  The Scarecrows were never intended to work properly. Instead the opposite was true, they were designed to malfunction causing the user to forego wine and turn to non-alcoholic herbal tea or possibly a carbonated beverage.

Anyone using a Scarecrow will utter one, if not all of the following statements. 1.Everyone okay with a little cork? 2. Just ignore the glass shards.  3. About the carpet…. 4. !@#&*!

In case you’re wondering, a proper wine opener is called a waiter’s corkscrew and is the size and shape of a Swiss army knife with both a knife to cut the foil and a handle that folds. They fit easily into your pocket and would serve as dangling earrings for those with very large heads.

The Slightly Corked team will be working with the Job’s Foundation on a massive retrieval operation called The Corkscrew Retirement Program whereby everyone will be invited to turn in their Scarecrow and receive a newly developed Apple iOpener which features a monitor, an iPhone for winery communication and pictures of labels, a breathalyzer, and the latest in GPS equipment to determine at what liquor store you’re parked.

Also thrown in will be two heretofore unavailable apps. One called the Cheapskate, which tracks down who brought a cheap screw cap bottle to your dinner party and sends a stealth missile up their toilet. And the Wine Bore app which bores an invisible hole in the bottom of a wine snob’s glass, causing a dribble which sends them home before they get to trot out their pretentious patter.

In the meantime, here’s what to do if stuck with a Scarecrow while on vacation. Grab a bottle of the excellent 2009 vintage of the Perrin & Fils Cote du Rhone Village ($18.00). Throw Scarecrow out window being careful not to impale gardener. Carefully follow the instructions below.

Push cork into bottle utilizing, pen, pencil, stick, or if built like Pinocchio, your nose. Trick drinking companion into volunteering shoelace. Tie three or more knots in lace on top of each other creating a little monkey’s fist approximately ¼ inch in diameter.  Push knot under edge of cork with stick or pen, preferably not nose. Gently pull lace out once bottom of cork is snagged. Solicit wild applaud. Return shoelace for washing.

So, that’s how we developed the award winning iLace. Simple, elegant, user friendly, everything a demanding fruitarian can ask for. Now if only we could get this packaging right.


Delbert Horrocks is the co-proprietor at Mahle House. Check Delbert’s blog: Slightlycorkedand

About the author: The Boss

The Boss

Marina is Editor of TAKE 5 Magazine.

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