Thursday, January 17, 2008

Household emergency

I'm sure you're wondering what kinds of emergencies crop up in the Fescue household. Well, they're grim: the other day, the two halves of my cocktail shaker got stuck together.

Initially, I wasn't concerned. I ran it under hot water for a while. Then I got out the rubber jar-opener thingy to give me a better grip. Then I put it in the freezer to cool it down (on the vaguely-remembered principle that metal contracts when it's cold). Of course, I promptly forgot it was there--but upon rediscovery, days later, the thing still wouldn't budge. So I tried more hot water; the submersion method this time. Then I tried to prise apart the two halves with a very fine knife blade. Then I tried to push them apart with a flat-headed screwdriver. Then I sprayed the entire thing with WD-40. Then I repeated all of the above.

At last I sank down on the kitchen floor, massaging my nearly sprained hand. Forget getting food caught in one's throat and dying for lack of a Heimlich maneouver: rebellious inanimate objects are the real downside to living alone. Would it, I wondered, be totally inappropriate for me to take the shaker into work and ask for the assistance of a male colleague? Someone with bigger, stronger hands?

I didn't even consider buying a new shaker: this one is perfect, and has done noble service over the past decade. I bought it at Williams-Sonoma on my way home from work my first New Year's Eve after college, in preparation for the party I was throwing that night. I remember being shocked at its price (some $35 back in 1997), but I've since discovered that Williams-Sonoma carries better cocktail shakers than just about anyone--elsewhere the things tend to be cheaper, but are always more poorly made.

I set it aside. Then I came back to it. Finally, to the relief of all (well, me), something worked: filling the thing up inside with warm water and lots of dishsoap.

And all I can say is, thank God I'm still on vacation. Crises like these take a lot out of a girl.

9 comments:

adjunct whore said...

this is so cute...i love the idea of you going to work to ask a male colleague if he could help so that you could mix cocktails....

agree on Williams Sonoma...

Sisyphus said...

So, it's finally fixed? Sounds like you'll really _need_ a drink after all that!

I hope it's not all dinged up now, cause there's nothing I hate more than getting frustrated at something I own and then I mess it up out of frustration, and then it's fixed, but no longer nice looking.

You should see what happened to the top of my kitchen table in the course of trying to open something. Sigh.

JustMe said...

glad you got it open, i would have knocked on some neighbor doors in my bldg, but then after, if they opened it, been to ashamed to look them in the eye.

and you know, this *is* more of a crisis that the potential choking, cuz all you have to then is throw yourself on to the back of a chair, whereas this was a multi day process!

dhawhee said...

I think I owned the same shaker--it used to drive me bananas. Especially when I, you know, really wanted a drink.

What Now? said...

D's cocktail shakers are always getting stuck together -- I think we actually once threw one away because there was just no getting it unstuck -- so I'm pleased to benefit from your labors and pass on to her your hard-gained wisdom.

scr said...

My best guess would be this:

Run the thing under ridiculously hot water, so it got all good and expanded. Then immediately pour icewater thru the top so that it fills most of the base. That way, the narrower bottom would contract and, well, become even narrower-er. Unfortunately, the cold water running thru the strainer might cool the whole top.

But it might work.

My lovely Williams Sonoma shaker christmas gift is doing just fine, thank you very much!

- scr

Flavia said...

Sis:

No, it's in fine shape. I was worried that the screwdriver might have scratched the thing, but it doesn't appear to have done so--there are fine scratches here and there, but I think they're simply the result of having been well used over the years.

Personally, I was super-proud of myself for thinking of WD-40 (the shaker is stainless steel), and was really, really convinced that was going to work. But no.

Dhawhee: mine's certainly gotten stuck before, but never for more than a few minutes. I'm wondering whether the sugary-syrupy nature of the Campari--I was making a Negroni, though I make those with some regularity--gummed up the works somehow.

The History Enthusiast said...

I live alone too, so I understand your struggle. The lightbulb in my dining-room light fixture is just a little bit too high for me, even when standing on a chair. I had to have a tall male friend come change it for me. Sometimes I wish I had a roommate!

John said...

Finally you got the job done? Yes, its difficult to be a Do-It-Yourselfer's but end of it you'll feel proud about yourself for doing it by yourself and it'll gain you some confidence...
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