Friday, June 4, 2010

All wrapped up...

Sometimes it's the little things that drive you over the edge.

This morning I tried to open a new bottle of plaque-fighting mouthwash--you know the stuff you use before you brush your teeth? Well, apparently it's a lot more valuable than I first suspected because it's impossible to get into. Perhaps it's specially-drawn water from the legendary fountain of youth; believe me, after this morning's battle, I could use a shot of youth water.

I always dread opening a new bottle because I know I'm in for a mighty battle with the plastic-encased cap, but today's endeavor was one for the record books. I admit that everything within four feet is a blur without my glasses, so attempting to open it by running my thumbnail under the rim of plastic on the top of the cap, just by feeling it, was stupid to begin with. But I can usually accomplish the task because there's a slightly-serrated slit along one side that makes one part of the plastic a wee bit weaker and thus vulnerable to tearing. But somewhere in the world, a plastic wrapping-serration-slitter machine is out of order. I did everything but get out the chain saw to remove that wrapper. I even put my glasses on, thinking the weak spot was just lost in the blur. No such luck. I dug my tweezers out and stabbed at it with them for... oh, five, six minutes. Nothing. Risking a nasty tweezer-stabbing, I finally leveraged them enough to create a tiny tear where one did not previously exist and managed to pull the wrapping far enough down the cap to open it. A stubborn bit of plastic still ringed the base of the cap, but I was beyond being neat.

Except it wouldn't open. It's one of those "push down with the palm of your hand and simultaneously turn the cap" caps. Yeah right. I leaned over it, placed my palm on it, pushed with all my weight, and twisted. I got a nasty plastic-twist burn on the palm of my hand for my trouble. I tried squeezing it inward on two sides with one hand, pushing down with the other palm, and twisting. No go.

Plaque pre-rinse bottles aren't the only products difficult to gain entrance to--the world is filled with plastic-encased, stapled, metal twist-tied packages. And I completely understand why the retailing world has resorted to super-packaging to stop those few thieves who have ruined it for the rest of us. They're tired of the pilfering, we're tired of paying higher costs for products encased in stuff that would protect the space shuttle from burning up in re-entry (and the medical costs associated with attempting to pry that stuff off), and the thieves are simply finding new and improved ways to do what they've always done--mess it up for the rest of us.

I've often thought that someone--a very patient, very strong someone--could create a lucrative business in the days before Christmas by simply offering to open children's toys and then cart away the cardboard and plastic debris. They'd have to own a semi-trailer, of course, and have nerves of steel and good insurance coverage, but it would certainly make Christmas morning simpler and I'm sure folks the world over would pay dearly for this service.

I finally set my pre-rinse aside and brushed my teeth without it. My teeth will no doubt fall out of my head soon, but at least I'll know my bottle of green stuff is safe from anyone--besides maybe The Hulk--who would dare try to open it.

Until the next time...

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