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EVERYTHING KING: Good things may come in small packages, but 'wrap rage' is real

Whether it's heat-sealed blister packs or clam shells, do you struggle to open packages? This week, Wendy unpacks a whole bunch of problems
2021-08-23 Plastic wrap
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Honestly, I didn’t know it was a real thing, but it is and I am diagnosing myself with “wrap rage."

It is almost always the minor things that send me over the edge.

So, here’s the definition of wrap rage according to Wikipedia: “It is the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open packaging, particularly some heat-sealed blister packs and clamshells. People can be injured. Cutting tools pose a sharp hazard to the person opening the package as well as its contents.”

Symptoms can include facial redness, increased heart rate, anger, tears, excessive use of curse words, and general over-reaction.

Some companies are deliberately making things hard to open.

For such things as over-the-counter medications, it is a law that the bottles be tamper-proof and child-proof. That is totally understandable, but I am in a childless household and I struggle. Do I push down on the top, push up or twist? Sometimes, I just smash the bottle to the ground and hope it pops open.

I understand companies are attempting to properly seal products, but sometimes their protection of us  the customers  is to our detriment.

Maybe some firms are over-achievers in this area?

Cases in point: Have you tried to carefully open one of those individual fruit cups? They are so filled to the brim that any attempt to open the lid sends sticky juice dripping onto my arm and countertop. I approach it like I am diffusing a bomb. Don’t shake. Don’t jiggle it. Set it flat. Open s-l-o-w-l-y. Nope! Juice everywhere.

Scissors. They come protected in that super-hard plastic that has no give whatsoever. I need scissors to open the scissors.

Don’t even get me started on battery packs. Those are the worst! It's the same hard plastic which even scissors won’t cut through.  If you make a start — never, repeat never — stick your fingers in to try to grab the double-A's or you will come out with plastic cuts, which are even worse that paper cuts.

According to a U.S. study, there are about 6,000 hospital visits annually connected to wrap rage.

For CD's — yes, I still buy those you would think they never want you to get to the music contained inside. The tightest shrink wrapped plastic cover with no obvious way to open. You can try your fingernail, teeth, knife or scissors, if those weren’t still stuck in the plastic container thing.

What is that glue they use on the back of price tags? It is never coming off. Forget it if it's on glass like a picture frame or mirror. I have ruined more manicures trying to scrape those off. Yes, I have Goo-Gone’d it, but there still always seems to be a sticky residue. 

Now, I just leave the price tags on stuff. Who cares? It reminds me what I paid and visitors to my home can praise the good deals I got.

I have had to start buying my milk in cartons because I have wasted so much milk by sawing through the plastic-bag kind with a steak knife. It is all uneven and wobbly and then I lose half the milk trying to pour it out. But, I can’t open the carton thing, either. It's sealed so tight that if I was dying of thirst, forget it, I’m a goner.

Packages delivered to the door? That’s a hard one. While I appreciate the item being transported in one piece, I detest needing a tool box of utensils to break into the box. Knife, axe, chain saw... It looks like a massacre once I get through the tape, glue, bubble wrap and those popcorn things. What a waste of a good cardboard box, too.

They say companies are trying to find ways of streamlining the opening process, especially for their more senior customers. Well, hurry it up!

While companies look for ways to protect the public but also fight against product loss, damage and shoplifting, we, the general public, continue to weep in frustration.

So with that, wrap rage is definitely a thing!

About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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