1. Wearing protective gloves (I use my Lindy Fish Handler Gloves), scrub the closed oysters thoroughly, using a wire brush and the garden hose. Discard any that have opened.
2. With the deeper-cupped shell down, grasp the oyster firmly with your non-dominant hand. Work the tip of a flathead screwdriver into the hinge, and tap the handle end of the screwdriver with a hammer until it begins to give way.
3. Now work an oyster knife into the hinge and around the rim of the oyster, with the blade as close to the inside of the top shell as possible, and gently cut the abductor muscle away from the shell. Remove the top shell.
4. Gently work the tip of your oyster knife underneath the oyster to release the oyster.