Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on March 14th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 1 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 1

Packaging challenged

Krider questions the need for Cheetos lockdown


I have a very serious problem. I can’t open things. I’m not talking about doors of opportunity or anything metaphorical or meaningful. Like, I can’t open a package of cheese. Any item wrapped in some sort of clear plastic that normally requires two fingers and the slightest tearing to open, I absolutely can’t do it. I’ll rip, I’ll struggle, I’ll force, I’ll curse—all the while nothing really happens. Eventually, I’m left standing in the kitchen, frustrated, while my wife and kids stare at me as if I were a drunken gorilla trying to open a banana that has been super-glued together.

My family laughs as I stand there with my fingers quivering in frustration because I can’t get something as simple as a bag of chips open. This isn’t a laughing matter to me. I feel as if I have some sort of disability. I’m packaging challenged. The least that society can give me for all of my struggles trying to open things is one of those placards so I could score a decent parking spot.

My family stopped laughing when they realized that the next step after my getting angry at a 4-by-3-inch cellophane wrapper is that I will use any sharp instrument within my grasp to cut into, through, and across, gouging and destroying the packaging to get to the food I want to put in my mouth. I’m like a grizzly bear tearing the lid off a locked ice chest.

My wife, whom I love, gets upset with me. After I have completely destroyed the packaging on the cheese, or deli meat, or bag of chips, she will say, “That was a resealable package, but now that you’ve cut it into 40 pieces, nothing will reseal and the food will go bad.”

“I don’t care if it was a resealable package,” I respond. “They need to make it an openable package. How can you reseal something you can’t open? Plus, what food is going to go bad? I’m going to eat the whole bag of chips once I get … the … darn … thing … open!”

In my mind, this whole hermetically sealed packaging thing has gotten completely out of control. For unknown government conspiratorial reasons, opening food items has been made way too difficult. I want things simplified. I’m not talking about taking a bottle of OxyContin and making it so a 2-year-old can open it just to find out the hard way it isn’t candy. I’m just asking that a bag of Doritos be possible to get into without my having to go into the garage to get my tin snips just to enjoy the taste of Cool Ranch.

I finally got wise to the fact that I can’t even eat some string cheese without having a sharpened set of knives handy to cut into the packaging. So instead of getting angry, I got inventive. I went to the store and bought four pairs of kitchen scissors. Yes, four pairs. I bought four, because I knew each member of my family would go in the kitchen drawer, remove my special-open-the-hardest-package-in-the-world scissors and selfishly use them for something other than opening up cake batter packages.

The scissors would be used by my son to cut paper and then not returned. The next set would be stolen by my wife to cut yarn and not returned. The third set would be stolen by my daughter to cut holes in her jeans so they’ll look “cool,” and thus be unwearable at her school thanks to ridiculous fascist dress codes. She won’t return the scissors to the drawer, either. That would leave the fourth and final set for me to cut the cheese with.

Of course, since my family quickly became used to having a handy set of scissors in one convenient place, and because they never bothered to return the first pair they stole from me, eventually they came looking for “my” last set. This happened rather quickly, and I lost four sets of scissors in one week. That left me going back to the garage for gardening tools to handle such hard-to-break-through items as a package of hot dogs. I considered adding a chain to the scissors and then bolting them to the counter next to the kitchen sink so my own family members would stop stealing my much-needed disabled-person food tools so I could open up a bag of peanuts.

My disability isn’t specific to food packaging. I can’t open mail, UPS packages, or really anything with tape or adhesive. This stuff just completely baffles me. Christmas mornings are the hardest on me. I can’t even get bows off of packages. My mother-in-law gets some sort of sick pleasure out of buying me a gift I really want (like a coffee table book about Trans-Am racing from the 1960s) and then wrapping it in a beautiful bow made out of titanium tied in a knot that even an escape artist can’t undo.  “Merry Christmas, enjoy spending the next hour and half trying to see what I bought you!” I’ve learned to just keep a pair of bolt cutters by my feet during the holidays.

The worst part about being packaging challenged is that my wife and kids love to come in behind me, pick up the bag of chips I threw my back out trying to open, and then with the ease of blowing a dandelion, they will open the chips with one hand. I appreciate that they helped me out, but I don’t need the smug looks they give me. Would you give that look to a guy in a wheelchair after you helped him over a tall curb? Then don’t do it to me when I can’t get a bag of Cheetos open.

For his birthday this year, Rob’s wife is planning to give him a pair of scissors wrapped in a package he can’t open.

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What do you think of PG&E's "public safety power shut off" plan?

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