Introduction: Beer in the Shower Part 2: the BeerHanger (wire, Pliers, and Human Interaction.)
If you read Part One, you'll recall that I promised another method of beer holding for those of us who don't have a retractable clothesline, or desire a faster solution that requires more work at the onset. The BeerHanger requires a wire coat hanger (preferably plastic coated) and some pliers. You can hang it from the shower curtain rod, or perhaps even the shower head, though I haven't tried the latter.
Pliers are good for bending, shaping, cutting, crushing, and plying.
A wire coat hanger is the sneakiest multi tool in existence. It can do a thousand and one things and then be bent back into coat-holding shape when you're done. The coat hanger trumps the pliers hands-down. If you don't have a coat hanger, you can use anything that looks sturdy enough to hold a beer. Welding wire works well, but likes to rust in showery environments. Baling wire would probably work, though you may want to double it up. You could make one of these out of romex. It would work quite well.
Step 1: Go Be Social
On my way back to my hotel room, I passed a maintenance man changing air filters. Changing the filters looked easy. Carrying all of them around didn't. I asked if him if he needed help. His name is Kim.
I am 26, college educated, a professional stagehand, and do not speak Korean. Kim is a maintenance man and speaks Korean, English and Mandarin. Korea is like that, but that's to be expected from a country who puts doctors and scientists on their money. Kim asked me not to take his picture, but said I could borrow his pliers if I promised to return them. I told him that he could have the beer holder when I was done with it at the end of my stay. Kim said thank you, and that he could probably find somebody who would like it. I get the feeling that Kim enjoys his life a lot.
Step 2: Malle the Malleable, Duct the Ductile.
The shape of our beer holder is mainly thus:
You need a bit at the bottom to stop the beer from falling out.
You need a ring or two around the beer to stop it from tipping over.
You need a bit at the top so the assembly can defy gravity.
It also helps if you build a bit of a lever into the top to cantilever the beer so it sits more upright. I'm going to show you how to do the lever part as well. Feel free to skip this part if you prefer a beer that leans at a jaunty angle.
I usually do a pretty simple flat spiral for the bottom bit. I make the spiral by grabbing the end of the wire with the pliers, and wrapping it around the jaws. Make a bunch of turns so that the spiral is big, and supports the bottom of the beer. You can push some of the inner turns up if you want to. Play with it to see what you like. If you mangle it, make this coat hanger something else and use another one.
Step 3: Make the Caged Beer Sing.
Once you're done with the spiral, bend a right angle at the end of it so that the rest of your wire sticks up. Measure about 2/3 of a beer's worth in height from the spiral and make a right angle bend to the side. I recommend making the bend so that when viewed top down the wire is perpendicular to the spiral at the bottom.
To make the ring, take the free end and bring it around in a big circle. Put the end under the right angle bend you just made, so that when you make the ring you can make another right angle bend up. wrap the wire around something solid and beer sized while pulling the wire through. Make the ring big enough to hold a beer, but not so big the beer falls out. When it's the right size, bend the wire up against starting bend. Now you have a ring. It doesn't need to be round or square to work.
Step 4: Hang It Up.
To hang this one I used a sort of spiral that would wrap around the curtain rod, though I'm sure a hook shape would work as well. The big thing is to make sure you leave enough room to put a beer (canned or bottled) into the holder when it's hanging.
So come up your arbitrary amount and make a right angle bend so that, when viewed top down, the wire sticks across the flat spiral, bisecting it. Put a beer in the holder and move your hand along the wire looking for the balance point. When you find a part that feels good (or if you just want to get on with it and give Kim's pliers back to him), make a right angle bend so that the wire points up. Take this part and wrap it around your shower rod. If you want you can wrap it back around the wire to make the holder rigdly mounted, but I prefer the loose one (and I'm going to give it to Kim when I check out.)
Cut off the rest of the coat hanger and turn it into something else (perhaps a smaller coat hanger?).
Enjoy your alternate beer holder, and smile contentedly, smug in the knowledge that you didn't need a fancy clothesline to hold your beer!
Step 5: Say Hi to Kim.
If you find yourself in Daegu, South Korea, stop by the GS Plaza and say hello to Kim. He's nice, knows where good bars are, and has pliers you can borrow if you forgot yours at the theatre.