Life List: Let’s Saber a Champagne Bottle!

January 16, 2015


Sabering a champagne bottle

Yesterday, I had my final meeting with my neurosurgeon to take the last images of my back and make sure everything is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing.

And it was!

I was granted a full release from any physical restrictions that were still remaining, and then proceeded to dance with hips in full swing with my doctor who continues to think I’m very fun.

And then he asked, “Do you want to see a picture of my beaver?” and I wasn’t sure whether to applaud or pass straight out.

As it turns out, Doc has a ranch that was being terrorized by what turned out to be a 46 pound beaver. He hunted this monster through the property, properly putting a .223 bullet in it, and then continued to chase it as it, apparently, WOULD NOT DIE. The story went on through lakes and nests and, well, then there was the picture.

That was some beaver, man.

Awhile ago I had made a promise that, on the release date from surgery, I would saber a bottle of champagne and dance. It was time to fulfill the other part of that promise. I had never done it before, it was on my Life List, and I couldn’t think of a better time to swipe the head of a bottle of French champagne clean off than this.

So I did!

Here’s what I learned.

  1. Place the chilled bottle upside down in a bucket of ice for about 1o minutes prior to sabering.
  2. Make sure all foil is removed – and be very careful undoing the cage over the cork as it could come flying out even without help.
  3. Find the seam of the bottle and follow it with your knife.
  4. Use the backside of the knife, not the blade itself as it may get damaged.
  5. Drive straight up and through the top of the bottle.

I realized I have a love of rituals and ceremony. I realized I create them for things, whether big or small. Routines happen. They are functional, necessary. But rituals and ceremony – they are the things of connection and presence. There is something about formalizing things, being thoughtful about them, being present for them that speaks to me.

Yesterday was an ending and a beginning.

194 days. From my surgery to yesterday it was 194 days. Doesn’t seem like much when I write it out like that, but, oh, what a 194 days it was. The ceremony of knocking the head off that bottle yesterday really did sign and close that chapter.

But, there’s a blank page, I still have a pen in my hand, there is more champagne ready to chill, and the flutes are ready for whatever comes next.

Let’s see what comes next.

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9 Responses to “Life List: Let’s Saber a Champagne Bottle!”

  1. Karen Says:

    Hooray! So happy for you. And you sabered that bottle like a champ.

  2. Sara Joy Says:

    Well play, victor. Well played. :applause:

  3. Kim Hawkins Says:

    well done, friend! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!

  4. Elz Says:

    Hooray! A 46 pound beaver, I’m sure my husband would be very interested in that story!
    I was at a dinner once with J Davies (Schramsberg) and he and Bryan Caswell sobered the crap out of several great bottles of champagne. It was impressive.

    • Pam Says:

      OMG that beaver. You would NOT BELIEVE IT. It stretched upright all the way to his SHOULDERS.

      You need to saber a bottle. Seriously.

  5. Elizabeth Says:

    Again, congratulations on being pain free and free from restrictions!!! (been on a heating pad in bed pretty much all week and feeling super jealous!) Cheers to working on that bucket list!