My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever

A day before Christmas, something terrible had happened. My corkscrew got screwed – in a bad way – it broke into two pieces as I was diligently applying it to a bottle. I was left in an even worse way, with the prospect of holiday without wine. Fortunately, there was still slivovitz.

A few days later, as I ran out of slivovitz (the horror, the horror!), it occurred to me that I could claim warranty for my newish but already deadish corkscrew. (Also, I switched to rum.) I emailed to my supplier of screws, attaching a graphic image of the subject’s dead body as it was left on the crime scene. I suggested that due to the nature of the damage, I deemed it unnecessary to send the product back.

The crime scene
The crime scene

The seller responded with what looked like an automated reply, requesting that I return the faulty product, fill in the attached form and add a detailed description of what the problem is. (At the point the problem was that I ran out of rum.) The next day, I faced the depressive absence of alcohol in the house, but for an unopened bottle of wine. With determination, I set out to describe my problem in the form provided.

Lacking the booze muse, I hesitated what to write in the MALFUNCTION SPECIFICATION field. It seemed obvious: It’s broken. But I don’t like stating the obvious, plus I don’t want the seller to think that I approach my claim with less than dead seriousness. After all, the corkscrew is dead, Jim.

I was thinking of approaching a technical specialist to help me write my complaint: The product manifests a severe failure of structural integrity when due force (F; also, may the force be with me) of x Newton (N) was applied and caused axis y to detach itself from axis x, the latter of which collapsed, resulting in the absolute annihilation of the product. 

At least that’s what I imagine are scientific terms for the colloquial observation that the corkscrew broke into the handle and the screw (plus the cork, still impaled on it). The screw would make a great prison shank. Regrettably, I’m currently not looking to go in jail. The complaint form remains as yet uncompleted, and I welcome informed advice on how to go about it.


That’s not the end of the story though. Today I was feeling inadvisably crafty and set my mind on creating a home-made corkscrew. What I used: the spiral from the broken screw, a double wrench (size 16 and 17) and some string. How I did that: I tied the corkscrew spiral to the wrench with the string. Did it work: no. So now what: I just pushed the cork into the bottle. Who cares about bits of cork in the wine.


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Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

33 thoughts on “My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever”

  1. I laughed out loud as I read this. It brought back a memory of when my own cork screw broke [a much simples model]. I just went across the hall, and rang on my neighbour’s door. She opened, but she was sobbing wildly and looked like ground beef in the face. I asked her what on earth had happened, why she was so upset. Between the sobs I heard her saying: «Nothing, I’m just watching Little House on the Prairie»! We were both in our 30’s LOL

    Another time, at a late night party, we just couldn’t find any corkscrew. A guy [from Transylvania] had heard that one could slap the bottle in the bottom and the cork would come out. He did that. He ended up in the ER with the palm of his hand full of glass … blood and read wine [Beaujolais Royal] all around the apartment.

    My drinking days are over 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your drinking stories are so much better than mine! The Little House on the Prairie was my favourite book, the show, I think, wasn’t aired here. But now I need to get it and watch it!

      I’m a horrible crier too, the other day I watched the film The Remains of the Day, also based on a book, and I cried so much that I could hardly open my eyes the next day. Silly.

      The Transylvanian guy sounds very curious, I’d love to meet him! Provided that he isn’t a vampire and has recovered from his injuries. Never heard of this method of opening a wine bottle, and I wonder if it’s a thing. It clearly wasn’t HIS thing!


      1. If I’m alone, I can cry too, and I’ve seen The Remains of the Day. Anthony Hopkins is my favourite actor.

        The last times I’ve been home, I haven’t seen him but I remember his name. He was good-looking …

        Little House was on for years … Michael Landon played the father. Almost all episodes made me cry.


  2. Love the technical lingo. So funny! In the past, I’ve had cork malfunctions in bottles of wine myself –when only half the cork comes out and then splinters on further attempts and no choice but to push it in. Hope your New Year celebrations go off without a cork hitch.


    1. Oh the awkward moment when you tear the cork into pieces and still fail to open the bloody bottle… Thank you for reading and for sharing your splintering experience, and here’s to a great new year with screw caps!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. After suffering just this fate almost 20 years ago, I have never again allowed myself to have fewer than three corkscrews in the house. The other day, I realized I no longer owned a set of pliers but, hey, I have five working corkscrews so who cares, right?


    1. Hm, now how did it not occur to me that I could have tried pliers to open the wine bottle? Maybe today I will! I know I should just get myself a spare corkscrew, but I’m trying not to own too many things because I’m likely to move again at some point. And as you know but too well, less is more when moving.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! Yes, I was extremely proud of myself when I made my unorthodox corkscrew, but then got disappointed soon when it didn’t work out. At least I ended up with some good blogging material 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This reminds me of a similar issue I had with a can opener recently. My husband’s been away for work during the week for the past two months, so naturally, he took a few homey things with him to make his hotel room feel less hotelly. One of those things was our very nice can opener. Silly me, I didn’t even realize it was missing till he’d beem hone for a month and I wanted to have chili. I finally broke down and bought a new one, but it broke halfway through opening the second can of beans (and, naturally, after all the stores were closed for the night).

    I got my chili eventually, but I’m still annoyed about the stupid cheap can opener that didn’t even last five minutes (never mind the fact that I’d wondered about its quality as I was paying all of $1.97 for it).

    Glad you finally got your wine! 🙂


    1. This reminds me I don’t own a can opener! I suppose I should get one. It must be hard to miss your husband, and then to find out then you also miss a can opener. I have no idea how to open a can without it. Maybe a screwdriver? An explosive? Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a serious first world problem when you got food or drink but no way to get in it. So may the victuals and ways to get into their packaging be with us in the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen! 🙂

        I’d considered using a church key to open the can, but quickly discarded the idea. If I’d been opening a can of tomato juice, it would have worked, but I was trying to get the beans open. If I’d have tried to shake them out of that tiny little hole, I’d have been at it all night (and it probably wouldn’t have worked, anyway).

        Have a grand new year! 🙂


  5. Oh for screwcap bottles when this occurs. Here’s to a wine-filled New Year and a replacement for a tool that was obviously not fit tor its intended purpose!

    I’ll raise my glass to you and Rebekah tonight at midnight. 😀


    1. Oh for a draught of vintage, oh for a functioning corkscrew… Absolutely. Thank you for commiserating with me, and, provided that I’ll get in the bottle, I’ll drink to your health today too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alas .. I have no amusing stories to share of trying to open liquor bottles. I’ll just sit here giggling at everyone else’s.
    Oh yeah .. and rum? Ugh. I doubt I’ll ever be desperate enough for a drink to resort to rum. Just sayin’ 🙂


    1. Haha, lucky you, with no awkward drinking stories. I don’t normally drink rum, but I got a very fancy bottle of some South American rum as a present, and it’s actually tasting very well. I do drink slivovitz though. It’s a local custom.


      1. You’re going to have to introduce me to the finer qualities of drinking slivovitz. I was given a bottle some time ago … and it’s still in my liquor cabinet.


        1. Oh, you own a bottle of slivovitz? Cool 🙂 Well, you pour a little in a small liquor glass, smell it, drink it in one gulp and swallow immediately. Like medicine. It’s like vodka. It’s not a drink for sipping. You can try putting it in tea too (not vodka, slivovitz). But if you don’t like strong liquor, I’m afraid you won’t like it to start with… So persist!


          1. hahaha! You made me laugh out loud … “it’s like medicine” … hahahaha!!

            You’re right. We didn’t try it correctly. Tonight, we have slivovitz!!


    1. Thank you for laughing with me! We can pretend the the cork pushing never happened 😉 It doesn’t matter how, what matters is that you got to enjoy your wine after all 🙂


    1. Aah, thank you for the links!! That’s just what I needed! I did suspect that I would find some tips if I bothered to Google, but I was too thirsty to do that 😮 I’m putting the classic Swiss army knife on my birthday wish list.


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