The packaging of many products just doesn't cut it


Memo to manufacturers worldwide: Congratulations! You've achieved your goal. It has now become virtually impossible for a consumer to open any packaged product with just his or her bare hands.

Case in point: the cool new razor that sits on a shelf in my bathroom, even as I type this.

Oh, you should see this baby. It's got three "specially positioned blades" for close shaving.

It's got "patented DLC comfort edges," whatever they are.

It's got an "advanced lubricating strip."

Yep, it's a beauty, all right.

Can't wait to use it.

There's only one problem: I can't get it out of the package.

That's because it came in one of those stupid blister packs that were apparently designed to withstand a nuclear blast, never mind someone simply trying to open them.

So until I can find scissors to begin the process of slicing through the clear, hard plastic - when did opening something become such an ordeal? - I'll be using my old razor.

The thing about blister packs is that sometimes the plastic is so thick that even scissors won't cut through them.

In cases like that, I usually end up taking a large kitchen knife and hacking away at it.

Then it becomes a matter of prying apart the jagged edges of the plastic while trying not to open a deep, blood-spurting gash on my hand.

That's why I'm not worried about nicking my face when I shave with the new razor.

Why worry about that when I'll probably die from sepsis after slicing my hands opening it?

If you have a moment, let me share one of my finest blister-pack memories.

A few months ago, I was in one of the fine emporiums in which I normally shop - Target, I think it was - when I picked up some multivitamins.

It was one of those Tub-o'-Vitamins deals, 500 in the bottle, or 750, or something like that.

Naturally, the multivitamins came in a blister pack.

And this one was encased in the kind of ultra-thick plastic that looked like it could deflect a direct hit from a tank shell.

So I thought: OK, while I'm here in the store, let me buy a really large pair of scissors.

That way, when I get home, I can begin the obligatory gouging of the blister pack, and this time avoid any blood loss.

Well, maybe you already see where this story is going.

Yep, the only large scissors they sold came in blister packs, too.

Which, if you're scoring at home, meant I'd need scissors to cut open the blister pack with the large scissors, which would then be used to cut open the blister pack with the multivitamins.

At this point I thought: If I'm going to get that much exercise cutting things open, who needs multivitamins?

What these manufacturers with their blister packs need to know is that life is stressful enough these days without consumers needing to saw through thick plastic each time they buy a new product.

Think about it: Utility rates are sky high, gas prices are through the roof, job security is at an all-time low.

And now you're going to say to some poor slob who buys, say, antacid tablets because he's so stressed out: Look, before you get any relief from that heartburn, you have to slash through this incredibly hard plastic shield?

And it'll be extremely difficult and frustrating?

Is that fair?

There'll be rioting in the streets if they keep putting products in blister packs.

That's why these manufacturers need to start putting little doors or something on the blister packs, so people can get at the product.

OK, I say little doors.

But call them what you will: little windows, little access portals, whatever.

Let's not get bogged down in semantics.

But let's give the consumer a break here, OK?

Make the damn blister packs easier to open.

If I buy a bottle of multivitamins, I shouldn't have to worry about severing an artery to get to them.

It sort of defeats the purpose.

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