Following the tradition of reliable unpleasantness that is every Monday morning, this past Monday was no different. I was back at the workplace bleary-eyed and draggy-tailed doing what I had not anticipated doing first thing that particularly crummy Monday morning, struggling to open a carton of skim milk at my desk. I had just poured the remainder of the previous week’s carton of milk-flavored water on my cereal, a cup of lightly sweetened organic flakes high in fiberboard. I was intending to add additional milk but this week’s carton proposed battle.
It refused to follow the natural law of packaging* of opening to the simple touch. It was clear to me that if this carton possessed a middle digit, it would be aimed in an upward direction at my grimacing face.
*I am purposely excluding products held hostage inside hard plastic stroke-inducing packaging and pills ensconced in allegedly child-proof bottles with adult-proof tops, more inventions courtesy of Satan.
The clock was ticking and the countdown was underway within the 90 second to two-minute window dividing crispy from soggy cereal. As my blood pressure began rising to a life-threatening level, my colleague, (not) Under Ling (anymore), noticed my frustration as well as the fact that I was multi-tasking. I was also photographing my struggle to open the obstinate carton. Coincidentally, she had just finished reading my previous post about our unscientific experiment where we soaked Twinkies in Coca-Cola. In a blasé tone she asked:
(not) Under Ling (anymore): Why are you photographing your milk cartons? [light bulb] Do you have Twinkies in there?
Me (through clenched teeth): Tune into Wednesday’s Lame for the answer.
One of the minor mysteries of life is why is it that every so often, one draws the short straw and encounters that inner freshness bag that refuses to surrender, the potato chip bag sealed with glue so impenetrable, it requires the intervention of a scissors or a higher power (I’m thinking weapons grade explosive) to open, and lately, paper milk cartons closed tighter than a maximum security prison?
Why is this necessary? Is there something about operating a package sealing apparatus that is catnip to types suffering Borderline Personality Disorder looking for outlets for their hostility? Where is the quality control to prevent defective product packaging? At the very least consumers should be awarded complimentary Valium for brand loyalty when they’re forced to wrestle with these beasts. By the time I was able to tear open that disagreeable milk carton, my cereal was reduced to soggy mush welcoming me to a new week at The Grind.