Church key (was: Set-ups (was "Boilermakers"))

Joe Pickett Joe_Pickett at HMCO.COM
Tue Apr 4 14:58:47 UTC 2000

I can second Larry Horn's testimonial--I also used and heard "church key" in
upstate NY (specifically Albany) in the 1960s.

A good follow-up question: what method did you use to open bottles when you
lacked a church key?

I recall three:

1. A screwdriver, working around the little indentations in the cap (which
entailed some deft artistry).

2.  The metal end of a seat belt (another specialized skill), fixing the bottle
cap in the square hole.

3.  The edge of a chrome fender (with a rapid blow by the heel of the hand onto
the bottle cap--a dangerous maneuver).

I confess I never excelled at these, but neither could I pass the macho test of
being able to break open the O made by folding up the clear plastic holder for a
six-pack of cans (is there a name for this?) by pulling the sides of the O with
both hands across the chest or behind the neck.

At times in life one confronts one's limitations . . .

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