Now that the big gift-giving holiday is over how many of you have faced the daunting problem of modern packaging? Opening a present isn't just a job of ripping off some flimsy decorative paper. You must approach the task with the proper tools. Scissors? Hah! Hardly worth bringing along. Today's items require wrenches, chain-saws and flame-throwers to un-box. It isn't just the fiendish gift-giver armed with bubble-wrap and duct tape - Himself comes to mind in this category. And it isn't just the breakables that must be safely encased in styrofoam. Those are certainly challenges but they don't come close to those terrors of modern packaging: The Hard Plastic (S)Hell.
You know them. The item is highly visible so it can be hung enticingly on a hook in the store where it can catch a buyer's eye and be popped into the cart for a trip home. It was thence swathed it in colored paper using lots of tape since the odd vacuum-packed shape resists neatly folded corners and sheds bands of ribbon as soon as they are attached. It sits awaiting the eager opening.
Paper is ripped off and the recipient is greeted with a tactical problem similar to breeching the security surrounding the Pentagon. The gift, often a toy or electronic goodie, can be viewed but remains locked within its shell. Eventually that chain-saw (Himself uses a lethal-looking Chinese Army knife) is wielded and sharp bits of plastic fly across the room to embed themselves in the rug where they can later move to an unwary bare foot. The warranty and instruction pages shred into confetti while the gift itself falls perilously toward the floor. The heroic gift opener wanders off in search of something to staunch the flow of blood brought on either by sharp plastic edges or frustrated thrusts of the chosen blade. Lookers-on remain to exchange startled glances after the flow of obscenities the un-wrapping brought about.
Maybe we could encourage manufacturers to wrap their products like M&Ms? Somebody quick invent the clear candy coating!