Friday, September 25, 2009

Plastic Package Rage


I want to know who the guy is that invented those clear, clam shell, hermetically-sealed, hard plastic packages.



You know the ones ---
with no easy means of extracting the product from the package beyond the jaws-of-life and a chainsaw. Just another part of the excessive packaging which goes along with anything you buy these days --- the kind used in everything from batteries and toys to household items and electronics. The kind you fight to open and end up nearly slitting your wrists.

I want to meet the guy who came up with a package with no visible way to open. I want to have him taken and sealed in one of his hard, clam shell, plastic packages-- and have him hung out over Times Square just like David Blaine--so people can watch him and see how long it takes him extract himself, if he even can, from one of his own packages. I want to see him do it just once. I am even willing to give him the same tools that I have used trying to open the stupidly packaged things before giving up in despair -- the scissors, the knife, my teeth, the hacksaw, the chainsaw, and sometimes the sledgehammer before eventually admitting defeat and throwing the package in the pile at the back of the closet with the rest of the mangled, unopened items I couldn't pry out of their plastic prison. My back closet now looks like the overflow return basket at Walmart.

Yes, I know, they do their job, protecting them from shipping damage and making attractive displays. Meanwhile, I look at my purchases dejectedly inside their battered, beaten-to-a-pulp packaged cells like a failed safe-cracker. Now, I understand that most people are too embarrassed to return their bashed, unopened items either because they look like a bomb exploded on them or they are just too ashamed to admit they couldn't open the damn things.

They could tile the next Space Shuttle in those plastic packages and they would never lose a single tile on re-entry to gravitational pull. In fact, they should arm military tanks out of the things as they appear to withstand just about anything you throw at them. If I could get one open, I might consider making cars with them just for the durability. Why is it that my car bumper crumples when barely grazed by a shopping cart, yet my plastic electric toothbrush package can withstand the impact of a two-ton semi-truck and remain intact?


We know the things are indestructible--- scientists say they won't degrade and will remain in our garbage dumps for thousands of years. After my last attempt to open one of these lock-box packages, my hands looked as if they had a bad run-in with a Samuri swordsman and a potato peeler . Eventually bandaged and broken, I backed down and bought one of those late-night infomercials magic hard plastic package cutters guaranteed to make plastic package opening a breeze. At last, I thought, the tool to solve my dogged, long-delayed, dexterity dilemma. It arrived the other day sealed in an impenetrable clear, clam-shell, hard plastic package.


I threw it in the back of the closet.

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