Monday, May 20, 2013

Terror of the Lids

Yes, the rewards are high, but it's a game where the price of defeat is savage. Sometimes Robin, after grunting with it herself for a collection of 'hnggh's, will hand me a bottle or a jar that has a screw top along with an impatient, "Open that for me."

 If the gods lie content in the skies above Texas at that moment, then what follows is a rapid flick of my wrist, a delightful 'click-fshhhh' gasp of surrender, and my handing the thing back to her FEELING LIKE A HERO OF NORSE LEGEND.

Generally, though, what happens is that I strain for a while and strip the skin off the palm of my hands. Then I wrap the lid in a kitchen towel and strain some more to equal effect. At this point I'm on to using the jamb of the door as a vice to hold the lid while I twist at the container; Robin will be saying, "Give it back here, you'll break the door," and I'll be swearing and twisting and saying, 'I'll repaint that bit in a minute." 

The fear is upon me now. If it's a fizzy thing, you can sometimes puncture the lid to relieve the pressure and then get it open, but you're not often that lucky. "Give it back," Robin repeats, reaching around me, trying to take the item from my hands. 

I swivel away - "Just a minute" - and desperately twist at the lid again, now not even attempting not to squint up my face as I do so. At last, though, Robin will manage to get the thing back. This is the darkest moment. If she tries again and it remains fastened, then I am saved. "It's just completely stuck," I'll say, "It is. Stop trying now. Stop. Stop it."

However, there are times - and my stomach chills now, even as I write this - when she gets it back and, with one last satanic effort, manages to spin the lid free. A slight smile takes up home on her face.

"What?" I say.
"No - what?"
"I'd loosened it."
"I didn't say anything."

And I'll have to drag the tiny, damp shreds of my manhood away into the garage until the slight, slight smile disappears from her face some thirty-six hours into the future.

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