In yesterday’s post I stopped short of a rant about jar lids and bottle caps. Let’s see how far I can get today. I have a memory of reading “The Final Days” many years ago. The book concerns itself with Richard Nixon’s last few days in office as President. He is not in my top ten list of favorite American political figures. Having said that, I find myself feeling deeply sympathetic for him in one area because of something I read in that book. When aides were cleaning out his desk following his resignation, a bottle of prescription medication was found in one of the drawers. Nothing odd about that except that the aide discovered that the “child-proof” cap was covered with tooth marks. Seems our President was resorting to the time-honored technique of chewing his way into the bottle. “Child-proof” it would seem, is another word for “impregnable.” And, when push comes to shove, that’s the way pill bottles should be – safe from children, and from teeth. But, along the way to being safe from (and for) children, those pill bottle caps became safe from me. I, along with a rather large percentage of the population, have arthritis. Still, this is an inconvenience I am willing to put up with – as long as child safety is the goal. Safety first! Also, if I had a memory more reliable than the sieve it is, I would remember to tell the pharmacist not to use safety caps. If prescription bottle safety caps were the only accessibility issue in packaging today, I would have nothing to post about today. But I do.
Thursday I purchased a bottle of lemon-flavored sparkling water. (Of course, all the food that’s bad for you falls open just by looking at it!) It’s a refreshing treat that I like to drink occasionally. I really wanted some this time. It sounded good, and WalMart had one-liter bottles of it on sale, so I bought myself a bottle, and held it out so I could drink it in the car as I was doing “pre-op” errands.
As I have written ad nauseam, I am not a natural “leftie,” but I have been more or less forced to become one by default. I’m getting better at it, but I still don’t have really good strength in that hand. I figured that was why I was unable to open my bottle of water. The ol’ “hand-strength” issue. I was thirsty and annoyed that I was going to have to wait until I got home to make use of a “bottle opening assistant” device I had purchased for just such “emergencies.” By the time I got home, that water was looking more and more tantalizing. I knew that I could just get some great well water from the tap at home, but something about that 59-cent bottle of lemon-flavored seltzer just called my name. I had to have it! So when I got home, I got my handy-dandy bottle opener and put it to work. I contorted that device, my left hand, right arm-pit, my two knees, and every other bit of body english I could muster and tried to get that bottle open. No dice, No water, either. I waited until Ashley got home from work that evening, and sought his help. If I had known the water was only going to taste so-so, I wouldn’t have expended so much effort getting it open. After the two of us brought our considerable strengths to bear against that mighty foe of a water bottle, we did manage to get it opened. And, have any of you noticed when the bottle or jar is paper-sealed under the cap, it is frequently the case that there is no tab on that seal that makes it possible to be gripped and peeled off? (Or the tab is too small to be gripped with arthritic fingers.) As far as torture packaging examples go, I’m just getting started!
Obviously, this was not the first time I have had difficulty opening bottles or jars. I had purchased that easy-opener for a reason after all. There are few more everyday annoyances around these days that are more annoying than being unable to open a bottle, jar, or package. How about those heavy-duty plastic packages that require an act of congress to get open? There is a tool being sold today that is manufactured specifically to help people cut through such packaging. You realize, of course, that the tool comes in a package that requires such a tool to open it. . .and so it goes.
Lately I have taken up residence in “Dysfunction Junction,” located just south of “Safety Sealed for Your
Frustration Protection” Square. I’m tired. I’m going to try to open a small carton of ice cream and drown my troubles. Wonder how come I keep losing weight?
Guess I’m not getting enough. . .