Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wrap rage

While continuing to browse old ALDaily entries, I came upon this fun little article about annoying food packaging. It starts as follows:
Mona Doyle recently filmed people attempting to open bags of pre-cut lettuce. The tape plays like a bit from the television show "America's Funniest Home Videos." Everybody uses force and torque that would otherwise be reserved for the gym. Either the bag opens suddenly and sprays lettuce all over the floor, or defeat is conceded and scissors or knives are employed.
This really spoke to me, because only yesterday I was in fact trying to open a bag of pre-cut lettuce and utterly failed (I had to have someone more competent do it for me; this may have been a wise move, since apparently 60,000 people have been injured as a result of "wrap rage" in Britain alone).

I've long been puzzled about why packaging remains so inconvenient, while everything else seems to get better. I get particularly enraged by the packaging that things like headphones, CD players and software comes in -- those hard plastic cases that one always ends up maniacally taking a pair of scissors to. This article suggests that one of the reasons (at least with food packaging) is that convenience conflicts with another increasingly important goal -- prevention of tampering. It also suggests, and to some extent this is right, that packaging actually is getting more convenient, we're just more spoiled. I still don't feel like my question has been completely answered, however.

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