Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm Corked

Since there is no more to be said about yesterday’s “election” except to reiterate what a shameful event it was for this state – which once was so proud of its “live and let live”, independent spirit – I devote instead space to my alcoholic beverage pet peeve – namely the now ubiquitous plastic “cork”.

First off, I have hated those little slugs of plastic ever since they began replacing corks in wine bottles. Not only do cork corks just give the right ambience to opening a bottle, but if you save enough of them and have a glue gun, you can make these nifty trivets to give as Xmas gifts to all your friends – especially those with whom you imbibed so much of that wine. Can’t do that with those plastic plugs! Besides, old-fashioned corks had all sorts of neat things printed on them – and these plastic plugs are just, well, sterile plastic that look like oversized ear plugs, or maybe some kind of new feminine hygiene product (some will remember the sponge episode).

But tonight, my frustration with plastic plugs reached an all time high. After a long, hard day of being broken into and broken by the monolithic bureaucracy where I now work, I was savoring a cool glass of red to unwind with by fire and with dogs and good book (State Boys Rebellion, see previous post).

Damn, if that plastic plug just refused to come out of the bottle top. Now, I have had corks do that, or break off, if they are old, but the point is, they are friable and you can just push them into the bottle and still get to the wine. But a plastic plug that wont budge - you cant just hack that little sucker to bits and push it into the bottle. Nope, because I tried.

Plastic doesn’t hack. And this stuff is like miracle foam or something – it seals itself back up after you try to cut it. I attacked it with a small sharp paring knife–mindful of the fact that it is just this sort of procedure where 15 minutes later you find yourself ER-bound with a gash 6 inches long and 2 inches deep.

I sawed, pried, and gouged at the plug, and finally had to give it up for dinner. The stoppered bottle sat there and taunted me. Why the hell are they doing away with corks? Is there not going to be anything left that is not made of petroleum products? I fumed and glowered and cursed our modern society where everything is slick, cheap and plastic – including our gummint leaders.

Not to be outwitted by a plastic plug, and refusing to drive up the road to the Goldstream General Store (which has the best wine collection in the state!), I persevered…eventually gouging out enough of the plastic so that the corkscrew (plasticscrew?) could pull the mangled plug out. It was a long ordeal.

I hate plastic corks. You can't make cool trivets out of them.


Deirdre Helfferich said...

Au contraire! One CAN make use of the dreaded petroleum cork! I know, because I'm using them to make the lower splashguard section on the Great Corkboard Kiosk for the Ester Community Park. So save those corks! I'll use 'em, plastic or wooden.

Ishmael said...

I heard once on NPR 10 years ago or so when these things first started popping up here and there that their use was having unintended ecological consequences. Namely, with a reduction in the demand for cork, which comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, Spanish land owners were cutting down the trees, thereby reducing habitat for some sort of bird that lives only in them. Weird.

CabinDweller said...

Looks like you were using too big a knife. :)

And seriously, what were you doing, making wine and motor oil spritzers?