Pick-A-Day

October 2020
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Whatchamacallit 42: Costa de Caparica Bottle Opener

The best bottle opener on the planet.

I believe it was back in early September 2012 — when I celebrated being half of my Mother’s age — that I acquired the above bottle opener.

At that point I spent a week on the beaches south of Lisbon doing exactly nothing.

Honestly, lying on the beach, watching the ocean waves come in and one – maybe reading a book, maybe doing fuck-all – this is one of the few times in my life that I am content to do nothing. To literally do nothing but read or stare at the ocean. All without feeling guilty about it.

Normally when I do nothing, I feel guilty – because surely I could also be doing something else.

But not at the ocean.

That week, I would rise early – eat my hotel breakfast, pack up my necessaries (water, bananas, kindle), hop in my rental car and drive down the road, picking a parking lot, parking, and enjoying the sun. (OK, there was a specific beach I was choosing every day – Praia da Bela Vista.)

The late afternoons, I would return to my hotel and grab an inexpensive, crap dinner at a nearby restaurant, then go to bed early.

It was while I was hunting for an inexpensive, crap restaurant that I found a souvenir shop selling the above bottle opener. It fascinated me for multiple reasons – first, clearly, is its shape. Second, the fact that these are mass produced souvenirs that are customizable: you buy the blank bottle opener – I bet it comes with a pen – then you write the town name on it: Costa de Caparica.

I love the bottle opener.

The fact is that I never use it for its intended purpose. I am always afraid that I will rub off the name (sorry about the inadvertent pun) – so it rests on top of a book case in my hallway, visible as I pop out of my bedroom.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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