Opening Bottles and Jars Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Opening Bottles and Jars

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There comes a point in every one of our lives when we need to open a bottle, but can't.

Opening stiff bottles or jars can attract members of the female sex to men1, and hold marriages together in times of adversity.


Before going any further make sure that the bottle is actually of the screw top variety. If not then simply get a bottle opener and open the bottle. Once it has been established that the bottle is a screw top one, try out one of the following ways to open it:

  • Run the bottle under a warm tap and try opening the bottle again.

  • Place your warm hands around the bottle neck and try opening the bottle.

  • Give the bottle to someone else and get them to open it. Then say in a really whiney voice 'Well I loosened it.'


Before attempting to open a jar ask the person for whom you are opening it whether they really need the jar opening. Suggesting an alternative to the contents of the jar is also a good idea. For instance mustard dressing in place of mayonnaise, or Swarfega grease remover in place of that jar of revolting gooseberry jam that Aunt Florrie gave to you four Christmases ago.

When it has been established that they do indeed want to get to the contents of the jar then try one of these:

  • Open the jar.

  • Make a feeble effort at opening the jar with over exaggerated muscle strain. This will make your companion think that you are just pretending to be weedy, rather than actually being weedy.

  • Make proper muscle strain, a real vein-standing-out-on-the-right-temple effort. A real proper push.

If at this point the jar still isn't open try repeating steps one to three but turning the lid the other way. If it still refuses to yield then tell your chum that this jar is obviously part of a faulty batch and hand it back to them. They will then open it with one swift tug.

It's been done this way in sitcoms for decades.

Alternatively, before you begin all that huffing and puffing, turn the bottle or jar upside-down, hit the bottom of the jar or bottle with the palm of your hand making sure beforehand that the lid is not loose at all, then try steps one to three again.

1And sometimes the other way round as well.

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