The story Patrick Dalton’s viral tweet is one of ingenuity and survival.
On Monday, the UK-based photographer posted a video of himself effortlessly opening a bottle of beer, not with a bottle opener or a lighter, but by using the ventilation grooves on a commuter train.
“Just discovered an @SouthernRailUK life hack!” Dalton tweeted, shouting out the rail company that generously, though probably unwittingly, provided him and other commuters with an endless supply of beer openers.
Elated, he compares himself to TV spy MacGyver, though quickly downgraded his resourcefulness to a Fonzie-level. Dalton’s initial tweet went on to get more than 4,000 retweets and 14,000 likes, as well as hundreds of comments applauding his achievement.
Harrowing stuff and undoubtedly practical, but all of the above begs an important question: the all-important “Why?” According to Dalton, who’s already documented everyday British life in a series of Shit London photography books, it was equal parts boredom and survival. "The train service in the UK is so unreliable that drinking is almost a prerequisite in order to dull the crushing tedium of another delayed rail journey,” Dalton explained to MUNCHIES in an email, and that tedium led to a flash of brilliance.
“Finding myself without a bottle opener or any other useful tools, I found myself suddenly thrust into a survival situation,” Dalton recounts. “Dangerously close to dehydration, the wisdom of Bear Grylls came back to me: 'Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.' I looked skywards and saw the air vent in ceiling above looked like it could save me. I reached up, the bottle top slid in perfectly, with a satisfying hiss the bottle top opened. Was this divine intervention? Who knows? I don't."
No matter how you look at it, the overhead beer opener was a gift from above.