I THINK shops do it to annoy me. Make cans I can’t open, rings I can’t pull and bottles whose tops refuse to be prised off.
I asked Maria to get me a new supply of cod liver oil tablets. It’s not that I want to be permanently doing the twist like they do on the advert on the telly, but I am of the opinion that they do you good and my joints need all the supple aid they can get.
But could I get the top off? Could I heck as like.
I twisted it, turned it, pulled it, squeezed it and finally gave up.
"How do you open this?" I said.
"It’s a child lock," Maria said – and opened it without a problem.
But the bottle of Sainsbury’s lemonade was another challenge altogether.
Since I developed RSI (repetitive strain injury) in my fingers through bashing a typewriter and computer keyboard for 50 years, I can’t get a proper grip.
"I give up," I said, passing it over to Maria.
But she couldn’t budge it either.
"Hang on, I’ll put my rubber gloves on," she said, although what good that would do I had no idea.
Still no joy.
"I’ll cut it off," I said and sawed away with a steak knife at those little connecting bits on the plastic cap.
It still resisted so I sawed again, this time with a carving knife. No? Well how about a Stanley knife?
By now, the sweat was becoming a danger. One slip and I could slash my wrist and stab Maria who was standing by to add brute strength. How would I explain that to the paramedic and police?
"I was not trying to commit suicide after stabbing my wife, officer. Honest. All I wanted was a drink of lemonade."
Maria tried to open the bottle again. Her sinews strained, her muscles bulged. For a moment I thought she would turn green and her shirt shred with the effort. But it still wouldn’t budge and she turned to the door of last resort.
This is actually the dining room door where recalcitrant bottles have been defeated before and the woodwork has the marks to prove it.
She slotted it in between door and jamb, pulled the pressure tight and turned the bottle. Eureka!
The top loosened and the bottle spurted lemonade like champagne.
My thirst was finally quenched, but my door looked as if it had just gone a couple of rounds with Jaws and lost. You can still see the teeth marks.