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Sunday, 14 August 2011

the key ring

 The locks of our lives are the means by which we guard that which we consider precious and safe behind doors. We gain access through these doors by possessing the carefully crafted pieces of metal which move these mighty bastions of safe-keeping (or with the help of some nifty tools or a crowbar). Inevitably these things remain small, that they might be carried but as such become easily lost. Mankind's solution: The key ring!

  By the key ring I intend to refer to the single thin rod of metal, bent upon itself that it might resemble a hoop, but in fact is cleverly crafted to allow the able user to add and remove keys at his or her will by bending the metal out, yet not distorting the circular motif. What simple yet effective genius is this?! What a masterpiece of craftsmanship! I should add that for many years I hated key rings of this type.

As a man I am now blessed with marginally weak academic's hands - hands capable of writing for up to twenty minutes without a break - but as a child I found I could barely move the damn things before 10.30 am. Any attempt to access a key ring (please bear in mind that I chewed my nails vigorously) would be met with tears of frustration. I mean "just how the hell do people open the damn thing?" was my cry. So to compensate for this fault of the fake-hoop key ring I was offered one of these.

Sadly it didn't have a fake bullet attached, but it did have an easy open and shut clasp, demonstrated in the bottom left hand corner of the above picture. This was far easier to use, allowing me to add and remove keys, much in the same manner as one adds and removes obituaries from one's top twenty collection. All was well. Then it broke in about three months. I chalked this up to chance and acquired another: It broke too. 

 It seemed as if one could not have an easily manageable key ring and eat it - or rather, use it for any length of time. Luckily I grew older, got a gardening job, built up a modicum of strength in my hands, so that when I was eventually given a more traditional fake hoop key ring (or whatever they are really called) by my friend Ian, I was capable of using it. These quite honestly are the only true key ring for anybody with any desire to hang on to their keys. Even when the fiddly decorative faffy bits break off they are still perfectly functional. The only time I ever saw one lose it's shape it was being hammered by a neanderthal with toothache on steroids.

  Which brings me to the conclusion of this rather tame review: As much as I feel I should award the subject of our scrutiny with a flawless victory, the weak and weedy child in me still harbors resentment for the wrongs I felt it inflicted. As such I award it 85% on the universal percentage scale. Key rings are, like Yorkie, damn good stuff - endurable to the last and one of the most practical things ever made... but not for weak handed little sissy boys who chew their nails. 

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