Tuesday, 26 June 2012
I'd rather be poisoned!
Picture the scene. Late for work, keen to leave the house and almost all self-care tasks completed, I skip (rather nimbly) up the stairs intent on a quick teeth-clean only to find there is no toothpaste. Returning downstairs I collect the new “pump action” tube only to be confronted by that increasingly common source of modern day frustration, impregnable packaging.
My initial attempt to twist off the large transparent cap makes no impression. Further inspection of the reason for this inertia reveals that the whole tube, from cap to base, is trussed in a synthetic strait-jacket. I scan the plastic’s edge for the indentation, the weak point in the ramparts that will allow easy access, only to find that the paler streak in the packaging is just a crease and as unrelenting as the rest of it. My initial, targeted offensive with thumb-nail is to no avail and soon deteriorates into random, frantic (but fruitless) probing.
A combination of teeth, neck muscle and associated growling succeeds in removing the upper slither of polythene, without appreciably taking me any closer to functional access. The subsequent frenzied assault with a kitchen knife loosens a couple more strands of polythene, and nearly costs me a couple of digits, before the defences finally yield. Toothbrush in hand, I pump expectantly only to be further disappointed when no paste escapes from the tube, the nozzle being welded shut by an air-tight seal of silver-paper.
Since, some years ago, an inadequate personality disordered fellow put broken glass (or other similarly noxious substance) in some jars of baby food, the health and safety brigade in collusion with manufacturers’ neuroses about the prospect of future litigation have ensured that a range of everyday items are tamper-proof. Personally, I would prefer to be exposed to the unlikely risk of toxins in my toothpaste rather than the daily frustrations associated with unassailable casing.