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?

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