Name the mystery object that was in my boyfriend's christmas cracker.
December 29, 2007 7:08 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend got this mystery object in his Christmas cracker and the family was stumped. What is it supposed to be?

The handle is plastic, the top cheap metal and there is a fuzzy-faced cardboard backing (which may just be packaging). The rings are free floating and look like small keyrings, which may be what it this is supposed to be. But it would make a pretty shitty keyring if that's the case and it doesn't quite seem to fit. So what is this weird thing?

I told everyone I'd post pictures to a cool site I know of where it will not fail to be identified, please help me look clever to my in laws!
posted by shelleycat to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A very small flail?
posted by jbroome at 7:16 PM on December 29, 2007

Actually comments along those lines were brought up (with a more kinky twist, his family is cool) but the rings are really small and don't really move around much, so the action is all wrong. Meant to put that in the question, sorry.
posted by shelleycat at 7:17 PM on December 29, 2007

Me being stupid, but that's a type of putty knife, or citrus zester, with holes drilled in the end and key rings inserted. Was meant as a joke gift? I mean, it's a jerry-built key chain by golly.
posted by dawson at 7:18 PM on December 29, 2007

I reckon it's a 'pretty shitty' keyring, just like the caption says.
posted by pompomtom at 7:28 PM on December 29, 2007

The bottom of this site has an accessory called a "valet-style keychain." Puzzling thing 'bout Boyd's prize is that the rings aren't easily detached. Elsewhere, another thingy with four key rings doubles as a bottle opener. Here's another fob four.
posted by bonobo at 8:03 PM on December 29, 2007

If nothing else, it's been a conversation piece.
posted by bonobo at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2007

My first thought was maybe some sort of magic trick set or something (of what kind, I don't know), but after reading through this thread, I'm not so sure.
posted by icebourg at 8:14 PM on December 29, 2007

Keyring. Made crap like this in HS shop class.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:20 PM on December 29, 2007

My first thought was that it was some sort of (crappy) mini-notebook, a la Lifehacker's "Hipster PDA"... The four rings would hold index cards / paper of some sort in place forming a little notebook. But the use of keyrings seems extraordinarily inconvenient for that goal, and the back doesn't look very well suited to it either.

Were the crackers store-bought, or did someone fill them? Someone in the chain has got to know what this thing is!
posted by fogster at 8:26 PM on December 29, 2007

Try Flickr's ID Please group.
I've got nothing, other than maybe it's a hard-core ice scraper for windshields, likely to break on first-use.
posted by mumkin at 8:33 PM on December 29, 2007

I think it's a wall-type keyholder. You hook the small hole at the narrow end onto a nail on the wall and hang your keys on each of the four rings the other end.
posted by peacheater at 8:34 PM on December 29, 2007

An "extra-key" keyring. Instead of having spare car keys, spare house keys, spare office keys, etc., laying around the house or bouncing around in a drawer, they're in one handy place. It's made from a paint scraper.
posted by boeing82 at 8:35 PM on December 29, 2007

It's a Christmas ornament to hang on the tree!
posted by 45moore45 at 8:47 PM on December 29, 2007

It is, in fact, a key ring. The idea is that you can have multiple "sets" of rings on one key ring. For example, if your car has a few different keys (door, glove box, trunk) they go on one of the smaller rings. Then the keys to your home (front door, back door, garage) go on another.

See here for another example.
posted by ochenk at 8:47 PM on December 29, 2007

Here's another one at the bottom.

And another.

And another.
posted by ochenk at 8:52 PM on December 29, 2007

My next AskMe: "What is a Christmas cracker?"
posted by The Deej at 9:43 PM on December 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

The hanging on the wall comment from peacheater gave me an aha! moment and now the keyring idea makes sense. In addition it's made for spare keys as boeing82 said, so not necessarily easy to use, and is designed for sets of keys as ochenk pointed out. So not actually really shitty after all.

We probably won't use it, don't really have many spare keys, but it's nice to know it's something functional and not just a weird piece of crap. They were pretty nice crackers and everyone else got something both reasonably well made and useful (pen, lint remover, folding brush, etc), so this one stood out.

For The Deej: wikipedia link. Just another one of the things we kiwis imported from Britain.
posted by shelleycat at 10:04 PM on December 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks shelleycat. I actually read the wiki link as soon as I saw the phrase. But why should that have stopped me from being a smartass? :)
posted by The Deej at 10:21 PM on December 29, 2007

Deej, I was wondering how someone fit that keyring into a cracker (must've been bigger than a Ritz, I figured) and how lucky the recipient was that he didn't chip a tooth when he bit into it.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:14 PM on December 29, 2007

Yeah, it didn't occur to me that it might not be a world wide thing. Over the years I've realised many things we do are actually British imports and possibly even kind of weird. Like, we celebrate Guy Fawkes. Why would we do that? It's not our parliament, not our history, not even remotely relevant to NZ at all, but is still accepted as being a normal part of life. Christmas crackers appear to be something similar. Just like eating a roasted turkey followed hot, stodgy pudding in the middle of the day when it's blazing hot outside :-D
posted by shelleycat at 11:41 PM on December 29, 2007

What is a Christmas cracker?

Santa Claus?
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:19 AM on December 30, 2007

A Christmas Cracker is a cardboard tube wrapped in paper, tied with ribbon at both ends, and when pulled in opposite directions POPS! or CRACKS! and there are small trinkets or paper crowns inside. My English exchange student gave me one last Christmas:)
posted by Etta Hollis at 7:18 AM on December 30, 2007

You can get Christmas crackers from about November to 'round about now at party stores in the US. There's usually a picture on the back that shows the treats inside, which range from toys (plastic toys to put together, rings, noisemakers) to little gadgets (pens, screwdriver sets, compass), depending on how fancy the cracker is and if it's targeted towards adults or kids. The crowns and bad jokes included inside are fun, and one year we got some that had celebratory phases translated into French, which we thought was bad form for things imported from England.
posted by julen at 12:10 PM on December 30, 2007

Oh, and I got this year's set at my local Costco (inside: small screwdriver sets, diamondesque earrings, extendable pens, magnet clips, and other useful items).
posted by julen at 12:11 PM on December 30, 2007

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