Do those crazy food tricks floating around the Web work? I'll offer occasional reports on the ones I try.
But I can't say we're off to a flying start. Restaurant reviewer Helen Schwab and I tried Opening A Wine Bottle With a Shoe, which has been all over the Internet for a couple of years. It even turned up in an episode of "Modern Family."
There are a couple of dozen versions out there, ranging from people doing it while speaking French to 20somethings doing it while stumbling around a city street.
Basically, the trick involves: A) A shoe. Preferably a hard-soled men's shoe, although some videos shoe an athletic shoe. B) A bottle of wine, with the capsule removed. And C) A wall. One with paint you don't care about chipping.
We procured all of the above and went to work. We tried a couple of different shoes -- a woman's shoe with a wide, 2-inch heel, and a man's basic brown lace-up oxford. The man's shoe was slightly easier, because the heel area was wide enough to hold the bottle easily.
We tried a couple of angles, higher and lower. We tried different people beating the wall with the shoe and the bottle.
Result: Nada. Zippo. After a good 50 whacks, there were lots of bubbles visible in the bottle, but no movement at all from the cork.
So, if you get the wine-shoe trick to work and have proof - preferably time-elapsed video - send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be glad to try again if it actually works.
Next up: Can you trust Mary Ann to peel a potato without a peeler?