Why Can’t I Open Things, Anymore? 

By Debbie Kasper

Why can’t I open things anymore?  What has happened to the packaging industry? Do they smoke Adderal in the design room?  It seems every packaging genius assumes that I have access to a laser beam and dental tools to pry open their stupid items. Stop that.

Childproof? How about “open” proof?

In order to set free a four-pack of ice cream sandwiches, you need a PHD in engineering, the agility of a Chinese rice carver, and the high hopes of an inchworm. And you need it four times. Even pulling off the top of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s has become a feat with a degree of difficulty of 8.8. You need a spotter to complete the move. Sometimes I actually have to bite through the cardboard boxes like a big hamster to get to certain food and beverage items.

When’s the last time you tried to yank a bottle of water out of that clutching plastic, carrying “bra holster?” I stretched, I yanked, I  pulled … a muscle.  Frustrated and thirsty, I finally drank the bottle of water still stuck in the pack, like a “Conehead.” Of course, I first had to open the sealed bottle cap with an ice pick, a steak knife, and an Uzi. It had apparently been soldered on with a blowtorch.

I’m an independent woman living alone, and I used to be able to open things. I took pride in that, but these days, even the simplest bottle cap can awaken my inner damsel in distress with the snap of a cap.

Once, in an emergency, I spent seventeen minutes and used three instruments, (not including the goggles), to try to open an aluminum card holding twenty-four tablets of Imodium hostage (asking for a friend). There they sat: a few dozen itty-bitty-teeny-weeny, preemy-white pills encased in an equal number of plastic bubbles, each safely in its own preemy incubator. Bubbles that had clearly been crazy glued to the silver card. My carpal tunnel syndrome gasped.

Each of the aluminum squares had a perforated slit leading from the card’s edge to the little pill. All in a brazen attempt to construct the fairy tale that you could actually get to the pill that way. Nope. The slits don’t actually cut through. My arthritis wept. I had a better shot at knitting a bullet proof vest with the packaging materials than I did of getting to the medication inside. I finally used a pair of pliers, and with a little manly grit, I liberated exactly two Imodium. But, by that time my friend was requesting an Alka Seltzer. I said, “Not a chance!”

I then developed one of my famous headaches so I reached for my bottle of Advil which has a Rubix cube top. I quickly pushed down, with all the might of my body, and twisted the top to the right with a nutcracker. This cracked the plastic bottle open, spilling dozens of Ibuprobens all over my kitchen floor. I scooped them up and threw them into a safe plastic baggie which I know how to get into all by myself, without directions, tools or bigger hands.

They’re also a handy item when you begin to hyperventilate over the orange juice carton lip you’re trying to “squeeze” open.

God I love Baggies.

Once in a vain attempt to open some flea medicine for my Maltese, I had to make a “Sophies choice,” that still haunts me. The card of small pills laughingly had the bubble and “peel off back” type of packaging. “Peel off” is more of a cock-tease than a direction: peel off backs never peel off. I broke my nail, raised my blood pressure, and then had to avoid eye-contact with my beloved dog, who was scratching like a flea farm. Sorry, pup, we’ll try again tomorrow.

My absolute saddest and most frustrating episode happened with a new shower head that I’d ordered. (one that actually allows water to escape and dribble out). The plastic encasing was so thick, I broke my scissors trying to cut in. I tried stabbing it with the broken half scissor’s sharp edge, like a murderer. I quickly grabbed my gardening pruners, then moved on up to  Weed Wacker. Still…nothing budged. I don’t own a glass cutter, so I was stumped on how to break-in. Eventually, I came up with a brilliant idea. I went out on the date, then invited him up after, to “show him my shower head.” I sexily dropped the bulbous showerhead capsule on his lap, with my lips all pouty, and asked him in the sexiest voice, if he could set my new shower head free. (It didn’t look like this was the first time he’d seen the showerhead maneuver, either). I don’t care. Screw feminism, I needed a shower. I was starting to stink from all the flop sweat.

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  1. I’m wondering if you got a shower before the date? Maybe this has happened to him before?!? Anyway, I LITERALLY feel your pain. I just give up on getting rid of my headache…it’s too much of a headache getting the pills!😂😂 Great post!

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