Apr 11

Sadists surround us.

“Friends” who tell you how nice you look— today. Bus drivers who pull away as you frantically knock on the door. In the rain. Writers of the tax code.

WomanBitesPackageI could go on, but why? You already know who the greatest sadists of our times are: the people who design packaging.


And I need that smart phone now! CDs? Forget  it. No one even buys them anymore: you couldn’t open those babies without a hacksaw. Toothbrushes in those plastic boxes with no visible means of entry are no better. And how about those little packets of syrup – not even real maple! — that you get in the diner when you order pancakes. First you can’t open them, and when you finally do, you get sticky stuff all over. With nary a finger bowl to be had, you are forced to lick them, your fingers not the packages, and left to wonder why you didn’t get scrambled eggs.

Forget algebra and trigonometry, we need Package Opening 101 in all our schools!

Meanwhile, Curb Your Enthusiasm

LarryDavidThe funniest example of wrap rage— so funny that I considered not writing the blog and just giving you a link to the show (Nah) — was on Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s called “Larry David Vs. Bad Packaging” on YouTube, and is also known as “Larry’s Dance Of The Vacuum Sealed Package.” Actually, the official title of the episode is “Vehicular Fellatio.” Don’t ask. Suffice to say that it involves cars, a couple of couples, and bad packaging.

The episode opens with Larry happily (as happily as possible for Larry) trying to open the plastic shell covering some electronic device he has just purchased. This procedure involves numerous sharp instruments, various stabbings, rippings, tearings, and a lot of creative vocalization, ending with Larry, totally out of control, throwing the package to the floor and storming out of the room. A R R G H !!!

You know the feeling, right. . .

Packaging is Dangerous To Your Health

We’ve all had wrap rage. It’s usually from those heat-sealed blister packs and clam shells encasing electronics, but even the little packets of so-called food you get on airlines are impossible to open, which is especially delightful when you’re sitting in a middle seat. Next to a fat person. Who is hogging the armrest.

It’s amazing that so many of us are overweight, considering how hard it is to get to the food inside the packages. And just about everything is getting more and more difficult to open.

ManWSawPeople will use almost any implement at hand—saws, pliers, kitchen shears, bolt cutters, military-issue can openers, files, teeth, and fingernails— so it’s no wonder that accidents occur. According to Wikipedia, “Consumers suffer thousands of injuries per year, such as cut fingers and sprained wrists  from the tools and even from the packaging itself.” Not to mention the psychological damage caused by Wrap Rage!

Manufacturers make packages hard to open, they tell us, for our own good. To protect medicines from children, for example. Really. Everybody knows that the little dears are the only ones with the time and patience to open child-proof bottles. We adults need an extra Tylenol after we’ve opened the bottle. The plastic bubbles for electronics and such are used to prevent shoplifting. Yeah, maybe. But you can’t help but wonder if the real reason is that it’s cheaper and easier to produce. Tough nuggies if it’s harder and more frustrating for consumers. Or would-be consumers. How can we consume that which we cannot open?

The Oyster Awards

SonicPackageConsumer Reports reports that consumers . . . “are increasingly frustrated with difficult-to-open packaging.” No shit.  “As manufacturers create packaging that more aggressively discourages theft and tampering they are concurrently creating a package opening nightmare.” I’ll drink to that.  CR has even created something called the Oyster Awards for the worst cases of bad packaging. Past winners include the Oral-B Sonic Toothbrush Kit and The Bratz Sisterz Dolls. The nominees are far too numerous to mention.

Even writing about this is giving me hives, so I think I’ll put on some music and relax, and forget about all this wrap rage.  Fortunately, all my CDs are already unwrapped, the bag of potato chips will be easy to open, and I have a nice bottle opener for the wine. But even as I sip my Chardonnay and dip my chips, I’ll bet that somewhere, somehow, some devilish designer is conspiring with some money-mad manufacturer, coming up with new and horrible ways to package even the simple things I hold so dear to my heart. Oh noooo, not my chips!

Nothing is safe from these fiends, my friends. Nothing.

To find out WHY that woman needs her smart phone:  
Existentialiasm At The Cheapie Nail Salon

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