Pub Memories #5: Ring-Pull Frisbees

Not really a pub memory this, but a very fond beer-related memory, harking back to the days when beer cans had ring-pulls that detached completely from the can, rather than depress into it, like they do today.  This big revolution in drinks-can design occurred in 1989 for soft drinks and 1990 for beer cans.  My memory is from 1977.  Give or take.

It’s evening, beginning to get dark, and I was playing in the small back garden of my baby-sitter’s house, while my baby-sitter fondled her boyfriend on the couch in the lounge––a not uncommon dynamic.  After a while, I was joined by my baby-sitter’s teenage brother, swigging from a can of beer, exiled from the house by the sight of the canoodling love-birds.  He was eighteen, was rumoured to play drums for a well-known, although unspecified, glam-rock band, had long curly hair, and seemed effortlessly cool.  And, much to my juvenile delight, it was this suburban back-yard adonis who initiated me in the art of ring-pull frisbees.

He illustrated to me the crucial difference between a ring-pull that had grooves and ones that did not: grooves, good; no grooves, bad.  He showed me the ring-pull tabs, which had just the right amount of bend and rigidity.  And he explained to me the science of aerodynamics as it pertains to aluminium ring-pull pulleys.

My first few attempts at launching ring-pull frisbees met with inevitable disaster whilst I tried to master the finer points of propulsion, thrust and accuracy, but it was not long before I could imitate my garden hero and send a ring-pull frisbee skimming the length of my happy hunting-grounds with devastating precision.  It felt like an important rite of passage; an early window into an adult world.

It was a primeval skill that I never forgot; took it with me wherever I went.  Nowadays, I don’t get so much opportunity to practice but, in my primordial memories, I still picture sending small metal discs into the inchoate night, and recall that moment of suburban evolution when the open-mouthed fledgling turned into the hunter-gatherer.

© Beery Sue

Beery Sue connects with her ancestors.

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