Breaking in is hard to do


There is a saying that translates into the idea that getting what you wish for could be worse than what you had. Plastic wrap comes to mind. I know it is hard to believe that I fuss, but when plastic wrap hit the market back in the last century, I thought it was the answer to keeping food fresh and various items clean and compact. What modern technology was capable of doing simply was mind shattering.

Then I tried to unwrap what I had wrapped earlier. The new, the wonderful, the perfect answer to all the world’s problems wouldn’t give up. It just stuck there. I used my teeth, a nail clipper and finally a dull pencil.

During my last attempt, I inadvertently stabbed myself in the thumb. This led me to the medicine cabinets for a Band-Aid, which was in a brand-new, plastic-wrapped box. By the time I reached the Band-Aid, I was faint from blood loss. Well, I fussed and wished for something better. I neglected to wish for something easier to break into.

Unwrapping plastic wrap was a piece of cake compared to what is used today to protect fragile items such as hammers, chisels, hair dryers and aspirins. My latest purchase, a curling iron, was encased in a clear but tough plastic substance that defied any normal entry but rather involved a trip to the hardware to store to purchase cutters designed to dissimulate spaceships.

I’ve learned to live with aspirin bottles that defy opening with anything less than a three-quarter-inch drill and packages of nail files that call for hedge clippers to chop away at their protective covering. But trying to remove a anything with curves and edges reminds me of the days women were entrenched in girdles. Nothing was about to give.

As I deal with more and more of this plastic designed to serve and protect, I get this feeling that somehow it involves a terrorist plot to keep us busy trying to get into things so that we aren’t paying attention to what is really going on.


Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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