Have you heard of not labeling something Easy Open when it’s clearly not?

My latest gripe involves Equate nutritional shakes from Walmart.

I enjoy a good nutritional shake now and then, but what I don’t enjoy is the battle that commences when I try to open the little plastic bottle. They have a strip of plastic around the cap and the neck of the bottle, and according to the “instructions” you are supposed to pull down at the point where it says EASY OPEN.

But alas, I repeatedly fail in my attempt to scrape, scratch, gnaw, tug, pull, yank, peel, pluck, tear, dislodge, or unencumber this immortal ring of plastic, that is until I finally secure the aid of a very sharp object to do my bidding. Ah, slice… That’s the word I needed.

Now, this is a product that is essentially geared toward older individuals, and I can only imagine the difficulty someone with weakness in their hands or arthritis in their fingers must have trying to open such a package. I imagine a lot of these things get thrown against a wall in a fit of anger and a cloudburst of expletives. Trust me, I understand. There are plenty of times I wanted to chuck one of these babies right out a window.

And while I’m at it, let me shed a little light on other packaging gripes I have… Hopefully, some of you will agree with me.

Let’s begin:

Disinfectant wipes!

Okay. How is it we have robotic surgery, but no one has yet been able to come up with a packaging design solution that allows for the easy dispensing of a cleaning wipe. Blammo Batman! I don’t get it. It’s 2022!

I don’t know about anyone else, but the simple act of purchasing a container of disinfectant wipes gives me anxiety because I foresee the painful battle that is surely to come. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly undone the entire contents of the plastic cylinder just in order to get ONE damn wipe. It’s like one of those magic tricks where the demented clown with blue teeth keeps pulling handkerchief after handkerchief out of his clenched fist — you know, how they just keep coming and coming and coming out and no one has the slightest idea where the hell they are actually coming from… That’s the visual I portray, including the demented part, when all I want to do is get rid of some kitchen bacteria!! Picture a pissed off Happy Gilmore saying that, and you’ll get the idea of my state of mind at that point.

I popped open a new container just a while ago and it even has a label right on it that says: First wipe ready to go!  Bullshit Arm & Hammer! It was literally one long knotted string of Rain Fresh scented wipes that looked like bed sheets after a torrential spin cycle in the wash machine. Arghhhh!

Moving on.

Sliced cheese packaging or anything that has one of those zipper seals you have to activate with a firm pull before getting to the goodies.

You know what I’m talking about. The packaging where you first have to Tear Here (and you never clearly ascertain where the here is) to get to the zipper seal part that you open by pulling apart like some holy guy did with the Red Sea. I am tearing here! It doesn’t work! I still can’t open the bloody thing! And that’s when I reach for a pair of good scissors and have at it. There! Zip that provolone cheese! Don’t even get me started on trying to press the seal back together. Ugh. And I believe that holy guy was Moses.

And you’ll all appreciate this one because it really hits home for this website, Cereal After Sex… Cereal bags!

Okay, I’m trying to get to my Raisin Bran, not a tomb of gold at Fort Knox. Now I know why cereal is so packed with vitamins and minerals… Because it’s such a strenuous workout just to open the damn bag. We need the nutrients! I pull and pull and pull on that superglued bag until eventually it either rips open in a very bad way and the cereal goes everywhere, or, you guessed it, I go to my old reliable — scissors — and just slice that sucker open. They should save us all the trouble and just include a pair of scissors with every box.

Whew. Now, I’m sure there are tons of other products out there that have horrible packaging. Isn’t life hard enough as it is? Why pile all this on top of us, too? Is this just another sinister plot to control and demean us? I don’t know, but if you have a few horror stories of your own related to packaging frustrations, please share. Until then, I’m going to try and open my bottle of prescription nervous pills.


At the Speed of Mary Jane’s Insomnia

I was once told by an electric psychic that I would die in a car crash in Montana on a sweet summer day in June in the year 2013. It didn’t happen. But the light bulbs we had for dinner last night were delicious. They illuminated my guts, and she could then see what I was feeling for real as we sat across from each other at the round table with the big candle in the middle. There was a lot of crunching going on and they say that eating glass isn’t good for you, that it can cut your guts to ribbons and then you will float away to the great ZOO in the sky and hang out with the gibbons, swinging from pearly gate to pearly gate with fury motivation and momentum.

“Pass the beans. Pass the barbecue sauce. Pass the don’t you have any manners?”

The next night our neighbor from across the hall had crock-potted some brisket but apparently, he didn’t cook it right and it came out all stringy and overly wet and he pounded on our door and said he had way more than he could eat himself and so he gave us some.

“I have potatoes too. Take some. Eat them. Enjoy them.”

We had only been married for 41 days and already she was getting on my nerves. She was making me climb the walls of our small pad across from the milkshake factory in a big city far, far away from wherever you are right now, so don’t try to go there, you won’t find it. We do not live on any map or globe. I read books when she bores the hell out of me. She has a strange fascination with cheese. Every time we go to the grocery store down and around, she quickly makes for the Department of Deli to peruse the plethora of cheeses they have there. So much cheese that I can’t believe, and they all have weird names and weird shapes and there are so many I do not remember, nor have I cataloged them. She has to look them over closely; she tries to smell them through the wrapping, she shakes them like an unopened Christmas present as if some pile of diamonds was just going to come falling out and then she wouldn’t need me anymore.

The crock-potter knocked on the door again to see if we would be interested in his lemon chicken and sausage feast. The stereo was blaring, and the chick was belly dancing, and I could not hear him knocking at first until he nearly bashed in the door.

“I crock-potted some lemon chicken and sausage, and, you know me, I made too much again.”

“Come in, you know my wife the belly dancer, right?”

“Absolutely. That’s one fine belly you got there.”

She stopped dancing, turned, and jumped out the window.

“Holy belly flop!” That’s what the crock-potter said.

“Don’t worry about her; she does that all the time.”

He went to the window and sure enough saw her rolling across the small patch of lawn and then she went running around in circles and down the street.

“Where is she going?”

“I don’t know, she’s insane and we barely communicate.”

“But you’re married. Surely you have some kind of convos?”

“Nope.”

“Then why did you marry her?”

“I don’t know. She told me about a mysterious island and that intrigued me. She said she would take me there, but now I’m thinking it was all a bunch of bullshit.”

“Your apartment is small.”

“Care for a cigar?”

“Got any Pink Floyd?”

I rummaged through the record collection throwing albums here and there trying to find a Pink Floyd record.

“Nope, sorry. I must have eaten it.”

“Well, I’m going to go home then and prepare my menu for tomorrow.”

“Any ideas?”

“Tuna casserole.”

*****

I sat on the couch reading a book about antique rocking horses when she came flying in the door all sweaty and out of breath.

I looked up at her.

“What the hell is going on?”

“The world is on fire!”

“What are you talking about?”

She pointed to the window.

“Look!”

I closed my book and went to the window. It seemed absurd and impossible, but she was right. The world WAS on fire. Everywhere I looked there was burning going on. Everywhere I looked there was black smoke rising from the Earth and spiraling up toward God’s red velvet footstool. It was all orange and maniacal. It was the bombs, the bombs, the bombs, they had come raining down like a lava thunderstorm of human parking lots of lost and twisted souls.

“I’m too tired for this shit,” and I closed the curtains, went into the bedroom and closed the door.

She came knocking.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m tired. I need to rest up. Tomorrow will most likely be a pretty rough day.”

“You dumb bastard! This is hardly the time to be sleeping.”

“What do you propose I do then, eh? As if anything would even matter my dear.”

“I want a divorce!”

“Good! So do I. Now leave me be so I can get some rest.”

I heard her stomp away and then the front door slammed. It was beginning to get very hot in the room and I turned on the fan. The breeze felt like winter in Bermuda and I was hungry for pineapple. I telephoned the crock-potter.

“Hello?”

“Hey, it’s your neighbor.”

“Oh, hi!”

“Listen, I know the world is burning to bits and pieces, but I was wondering if you had a good recipe for glazed ham, you know, the kind where you put the round slices of pineapple on top.”

He was quiet for a moment.

“I could crock-pot a ham and throw some pineapple chunks in there. Would that be OK?”

I thought about it. Damn, the apartment was getting really hot.

“Yeah, that sounds pretty good.”

“I’m excited.”

“So am I. Just don’t screw it up like you did the brisket.”

The bedroom roof caved in.