Flying Champagne Corks: You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!

It's there, lurking in your kitchen this time of year, an innocent-looking bottle of champagne that, if not handled properly, can be a brutal instrument used to maim, or even kill. Or at least that's what the Texas Ophthalmological Association told us in a press release yesterday -- a press release that, even after confirming its authenticity, we still sorta believe is a hoax.

The association is warning against "champagne cork mishaps" which can "lead to a variety of serious eye injuries." And to cut down on casualties, the American Academy of Opthalmology has even produced an instructional video on the proper way to uncork.

"Every year, hundreds of people suffer from serious, potentially blinding eye injuries when champagne corks hit them in the eye," the spokesperson for the AAO says in the video (with a straight face). "The danger isn't just to whoever opens the bottle, but to anyone nearby. Don't ruin your celebration by spending it in the emergency room."

He adds: "Toast the holidays to good eye-health."

Here are some helpful tips the AAO has provided, apparently for people who are brain-damaged and/or children:

1.) "Chill sparkling wine and champagne to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or colder before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly."

2.) "Don't shake the bottle. Shaking increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle, thereby increasing your chances of severe eye injury."

3.) "Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders and hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood on the bottle."

4.) "Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork."

We just hope that this public service message will save many eyes, and many lives. Either that, or natural selection will just run its course.

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