And the winner of the improvisation contest is...
I immediately saw (pun and hint not intended) the switches, and was anxious to get them home. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to remove the connectors by hand, and didn't have and pliers or wire cutters.
I was 25 meters - less than 5 minutes away from home, and way too lazy to go back and bring some tools. What do I do?
Look at the net/grill/cover/protector thing and immediately think that it's sharp and cut through the wires easily, DUH! Not sure where I got the idea, but I thought that the side, where all of the smaller rods are welded onto the main one, would be pretty sharp. On a second thought, it might not have actually sawed through, but might have ripped through the wires, strand by strand, since it was soft copper.
Just thought I'd b̶r̶a̶g̶ share :)