June 27, 2005

E-Z Open.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:52 pm

Of my many shortcomings, one that rears its head with vexing regularity is that I am unable to properly open stuff.

How many times have you seen on a cardboard container of stuff, “Press here to open”? I don’t know about you, but I when I “press here” all I manage to do is cave in the cardboard. I suppose that by “pressing here” one’s finger is supposed to pierce the cardboard with the ease of a stiletto. After the initial failure, pressing again merely renders the cardboard a bit of mushy paper. Ultimately, I have to abandon the “press here” spot and start ripping away at anything that looks like a seam or a flap.

This happens often with cereal boxes. With each new box, I ready my “pressing” finger and carefully aim for the “press here” spot. With foolish optimism, I go for the kill, only to produce yet another soft dent over the “press here” spot. Having learned that multiple pressing is futile, I tear away at the box top, much as I expect Zippy the Chimp might do.

Once the box top has been torn to shreds, I am poised to proclaim victory, but the battle is far from won. Peering into the gaping hole that used to be the box top, I am confronted with the damnable “envelope” in which the cereal itself is packaged. No “easy open” here. There isn’t even anywhere to “press here.” I suppose there are those who can neatly open that airtight cereal bag, but I am not one of them. By the time I finally get to the cereal, it looks as if the cereal box had been attacked by a scavenging bear.

Oh, and how about food packaged in pouches where all one has to do to get at the contents is “tear along the dotted line”? Perhaps a plastic surgeon with a laser scalpel could “cut” along the dotted line, but for me the operative word is “tear”. I often end up placing a badly damaged pouch of half consumed stuff inside another plastic bag and doing the “two twists and place down on the twisted piece” trick. Now that’s easy opening.

Then there are those silver things that are underneath twist-off lids. I love Skippy peanut butter, and there is nothing quite like the anticipation of making the first knife thrust into a virgin jar of the stuff. Unfortunately, after I unscrew the lid, I have to deal with the silvery cardboard thing that is somehow welded to the top of the jar. I have tried various ways to remove this farookin’ peanut butter barrier in one damned piece. Alas,I have never succeeded. I always wind up poking my finger through the thing and into the peanut butter, necessitating removing the hateful thing in pieces. And there is always…always a little bit of that silvery crap that sticks to the top of the jar.

The clincher (and the inspiration for this post) occurred last night. I wanted to open one of those twelve-can “Cool Packs” of A&W Diet Root Beer. As you know, when these cardboard things are properly opened, one is able to place the twelve-pack on the refrigerator shelf, and the design of the box is such that the weight of the cans pushes one can to the front into the little cardboard well that is created when the box is properly opened. All twelve cans store compactly, they stay cold, and one is always easily accessible. Well, maybe that’s the way it works in your house, but it sure as shit doesn’t work that way for me.

Opening a twelve-pack really requires pressing the “press here” spot with two or three fingers in order to get your hand in the position that permits the tearing of the end of the box along the dotted lines, which folds down to create the little cardboard well that permits one can at a time to be conveniently removed from the refrigerator. I think I’ve gotten it right once. I usually end up tearing the entire end off the box, unleashing all twelve cans to roll out of the box as if they were depth charges.

Last night, I must have been particularly short on patience, because after several unsuccessful attempts to get my fingers through the “press here” spot, I grabbed a nearby pair of scissors and stabbed the box as if it were charging bull. In my anger and frustration, I had forgotten that under the think layer of cardboard were cans of fizzy soda. That brilliant move left me with a mortally wounded twelve-pack and a can that was pissing root beer all over the counter top and kitchen floor. Just farookin’ great Jimbo.

Don’t even get me started about opening a new CD.

I can only conclude that when the “opening stuff” genes were being handed out, I was seriously shortchanged. However, the good news is that I did manage to catch one very important “opening stuff” gene. Turns out that I am a gott-damned virtuoso when it comes to opening beer, wine, champagne and booze.

Who the hell needs Cheerios anyway?


  1. Jim, I laughed out loud. I’d give you and the Goddess a crate of food and a can opener on a desert island and see who starves to death first. She has packaging issues as well.

    Comment by Sluggo — June 27, 2005 @ 11:02 pm

  2. I am certain that it’s a genetic thing. The only person I know who can screw up a box of cereal worse than I is daughter TJ. Sometimes, she asks me to help her!! Mrs. Parkway, who can open a a new shirt, remove the pins and the paper and the cardboard and put it all back together, looks at the mess, shakes her head and wonders what went wrong.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — June 27, 2005 @ 11:11 pm

  3. You sound like me, I fuck everything up and looks so bad, when I do get in, no one will eat it but me.

    Comment by Catfish — June 27, 2005 @ 11:31 pm

  4. I did laugh while reading your post. I’ve had the same problems. I hate opening cds.

    Comment by Kate — June 27, 2005 @ 11:40 pm

  5. … you need a pocket knife, killer…

    Comment by Eric — June 28, 2005 @ 9:04 am

  6. So long as you can open liquor, the rest of this is moot, no? I for one have quit buying cheap wine. Apart from the, you know, cheap taste I have a knack for breaking the cheap corks in half during extraction.

    Comment by Auskunft — June 28, 2005 @ 9:10 am

  7. Welcome to the USA.
    If they accidently design a container that works, then they will not be paid to redesign a container that might work.

    Comment by GrampaPinhead — June 28, 2005 @ 11:45 am

  8. Aahahahahha! I hear ya. Oh, boy…do I hear ya.

    Comment by Pammy — June 28, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

  9. Packaging is my pet peeve. I particularly hate those foam peanuts, especially when they have a mild static charge. I’d like to kick the ass of the guy who invented those and all who use them.

    Here’s one reason why I like Amazon. Maybe their boxes are too big sometimes but I can rip them open with my bare hands.

    Depth charges was a great allusion.

    Comment by spongeworthy — June 28, 2005 @ 1:06 pm

  10. Heh…I think I am lacking that gene as well. Oh…what about things like toothbrushes, or razors or the like. That are inside the plastic container…and can’t be ripped? I often wonder why it is I haven’t maimed myself with a knife or scissors. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve cut myself on the plastic.

    Comment by Moogie — June 28, 2005 @ 2:09 pm

  11. The only packaging I really have a tough time with are CD Walkmen and certain other electronics which are encased in heavy plastic with heat seals all around. Occam’s scissors is the only solution and you still have to be careful not to lose a finger.

    Comment by Sluggo — June 28, 2005 @ 2:34 pm

  12. You really need a “no beverage drinking while reading” warning at the top of this post!

    Comment by Jilly — June 28, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

  13. About the only thing you can do is give the package to a 5 year old; seems they can get into anything in record time!

    Comment by Michele — June 29, 2005 @ 4:54 am

  14. misery loves company

    I have this same problem. There is NO such thing as an “easy-open” package that I’ve discovered in my life….

    Trackback by Gut Rumbles — June 29, 2005 @ 10:02 am

  15. DOG FOOD!

    Does ANYONE know how to work that damned threaded string?

    Comment by Key — June 29, 2005 @ 11:53 am

  16. From all of us who’ve ever believed that you actually could “Press Here to Open” and it would work — thanks for the laugh! As for new CDs, I believe there is a special place in Hell for the people who designed this packaging. It’s right next to the people who invented pantyhose, and on the other side are the people who thought that bright, always-staining pink was the best color for liquid medicine for babies.

    Comment by Theresa — June 30, 2005 @ 12:28 pm

  17. Around “The Association”

    Russ has the perfect candidate for SCOTUS picked out. Baldilocks parses the Parsers. With Links! Cowboy Blob offers up an analogy. Corsair the Rational Pirate touches on a topic important to me: Aung San Suu Kyi. Florida Cracker has the…

    Trackback by Brain Fertilizer — June 30, 2005 @ 3:23 pm

  18. Holy smokes, this was so familiar. I don’t understand why packaging is so hard to get into for the consumer. I had to open a package containing 3 knives the other day, and by the time I was on the 3rd knife, I was thinking about throwing them at somebody. And I hate those little silver linings that will not peel away even though they (sometimes) have a tab to use to peel it away. whatever!

    Comment by Gwynda — July 1, 2005 @ 12:20 am

  19. You’ve never been frustrated til you’ve tried to open a toy for your toddler…getting the outer packaging open is the easy part, once you’re in there, those sadistic bastards have every piece tied to the packaging with twisty ties!!!!
    I just know there’s some kid in Bangladesh giggling to himself while he’s tying every one of htese in the packaging…”Hee hee, stupid Americans..”

    Comment by antidull — July 1, 2005 @ 4:51 am

  20. I too live the life you live. It certainly is a damning existence. I actually self-diagnosed myself some 15 years ago with an affliction that I think should appropriately called:


    The inability to effectively tear along perforated lines. (c)
    Can I copyright a definition of a word I made up?

    Comment by Erick — July 2, 2005 @ 11:33 am

  21. Wow, a soulmate! I’m not allowed to open anything in our house that has to go back in the cupboard or the

    Comment by Julie Owens — July 11, 2005 @ 9:45 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress