Have you bought anything lately? I have. And I’m still trying to get it out of the damn package.
Unbelievable as it seems now, opening a package used to be a breeze. Little kids did it, unsupervised, there wasn’t any skill involved and the big danger was a papercut. You’d yank open a flap or tear off a cellophane wrapper and remove your newly purchased item — bada bing, bada boom. That’s all there was to it. The whole thing, beginning to end, took six, seven seconds out of your day.
Now you need 20 minutes and a toolbox to break into packaging: scissors, x-acto knife, welding torch, and the jaws of life. I bought a flash drive online, a tiny device. When the package arrived, the thing was entombed between oversized sheets of welded, reinforced, rigid, impenetrable plastic. I tried to get it out, I did. I twisted and pulled and pried, I banged it on the countertop. I even channeled Zena the Warrior Princess. Nothing. In the end, I had to pull a knife on it, a really sharp knife. It would’ve been less labor intensive to free Timmy from the old well.
It’s not just flash drives, either. Try to open a CD / DVD. There’s the outer wrap and an airtight seal and a puny pull-tab that breaks at the halfway mark and, yes, more adhesive. They make it so freaking complicated. Dismantling a bomb, on the other hand, takes no time — snip this wire, snip that wire, done (or boom, whatever). Even something as mundane as a cold drink puts you to the test. Try to open a bottle of Coke sometime, one with a twist-off top. It’s capped tighter than the Gulf oil spill. You’ll need Superman to open it for you.
Eggs, with their brittle shells, sit in thin styrofoam cups under a flip-top. Delicate and fragile as they are you’d think they’d merit some type of protective packaging, but no. A curling iron with a steel barrel, that’s what needs sturdy, bullet-proof packaging. Seems bass ackwards to me, but what do I know? I can’t spring a new digital camera from its prison.
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