Now that we’ve determined who the Leader of the Free World will be for the next four years–and I use that term somewhat facetiously, I’ll bet there are leaders of several other free countries in the world who chafe at that title–it’s time to turn our attention to other important matters we’ve been neglecting. I refer in this case to wrap rage. Today’s New York Times had an article on the front page taking up this important issue. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/technology/internet/15packaging.html?ei=5070&emc=eta1
But before I go further, let me say that thankfully, we don’t have to leave the election completely behind. We still have Sarah Palin to kick around, because she keeps opening her mouth. This week both Maureen Dowd and Dick Cavett (who called Sarah the Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla) have published opinion pieces in the New York Times referring to Sarah’s mangling of the English language. It’s one thing to listen to her in person, but when you actually read a transcript of what she’s said, you realize there is no There there.
Lewis Carroll, in his poem Jabberwocky, used nonsense words to make sentences, and I quote: “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.” Now that sentence would make perfect sense, if you knew what brillig and toves and wabes were. By contrast, Sarah Palin uses perfectly good English words, but manages to string them together in such a way that the end result doesn’t make sense even if you understand the individual words.
On to wrap rage. You will understand this perfectly. The wrap refers to those hard plastic packages that small electronics and many other items come in. The ones you can’t open. Scissors sometimes don’t work. I’ve been known to use the same clippers I use to cut down small tree seedlings to get into these packages. Once I tried to melt the edges of one of the packages with a cigarette lighter, and strange fumes floated into the air…when I woke up, I noticed that all the dogs were hovering in the furthest corner of the back yard and the cat was dead. No really, just kidding, but the burned edges of the package had merely sealed themselves together again.
I’ve always fantasized about inventing a sort of acid (which should come with the package) that you would pour on once you got home. It would miraculously disappear the package but leave the item within intact. I’ll bet there’s even a way to do it, but I imagine it would require a working knowledge of chemistry, which leaves me out. Whoever does eventually invent it should, in my opinion, win both the Nobel Prize for chemistry and the Nobel Peace Prize.
The NYT article says that approximately 6,000 people per year are treated for injuries sustained by trying to open these packages. If you don’t cut or stab yourself first, the sharp edges of the package get you once you finally manage to cut a hole in it by some method.
But hope is on the way. Some companies have apparently decided that stress-free packaging is consumer-friendly. It’s hard to get repeat business from customers who died while trying to set your customer-proof packaging on fire.
Just in case you thought these two topics–wrap rage and Sarah Palin–are unrelated, I’m about to tie it all together for you. Trying to open one of these packages is like trying to understand Sarah Palin. Either one will have you tearing your hair out in clumps. Unless the fumes get you first.