Thursday, September 17, 2009


Millie Garfield, who is 84 and blogs at My Mom's Blog, has an ongoing feature involving video clips of her son helping her open packages that defy reason. I'm not intending to tread on her toes here, but I am beginning to have the same problem.

I bought Glucosamine/Chondroitin, in the hope that it might help my awful knees. While I appreciate the efforts of Walgreens to protect me from tampering, I have to say that the stuff isn't going to help me unless I can actually open the bottle.

First, it was a "twofer," so I had to separate the two bottles, bound by some sort of shrink wrap that was impervious to all but Cutco scissors (the ones that can cut a penny). Each bottle has the lid sealed with yet more shrink wrap, and I really think they should use this particular type as body armour for our soldiers. Some companies perforate the shrink wrap around the caps of their containers, but not Walgreens. Nope. This one was impervious even to Cutco, and required a razor blade. Having finally removed the cap, I was met with the last line of defense--a plastic/foil membrane, extended over the mouth of the bottle and attached with super-glue. No amount of pressure would puncture, nor prying loosen this final barrier. It took stabbing with a sharp object to get past it.

Opening the container netted me my cardio workout for the day.

Did I mention that this is the "easy-open" container, for people with arthritis?



  1. I am 40 - its not because you are older. I have a permanent scar on my face because I was trying to open a package that had a double bottle too.

    I used a knife, and pried up. Said knife did make a cut, but my hand that was holding it went flying to my face and I stabbed myself. Not awesome. And totally something that is not surprising to anyone I told about it. I am not known for being coordinated. I have been laughed at more than once for doing something that defies peoples belief.

  2. Ronni:
    I agree with you--one day I woke up and no longer had as much strength in my hands to open jars and bottles.

    Also, the pull tops on dog food cans have gotten difficult lately.

    When I lived in Virginia, an older woman told me that if you gently tap the lid of a jar with a knife, it will open easily--but you have to tap it all the way around.

    It works. I dont know why it does, but it does.

  3. Actually you shouldnt do that. There have been warnings about that. It DOES work, but you can get tiny pieces of glass in whatever you are trying to open.

    Its better to smack on the bottom of the jar a few times to release some pressure from the airlock.

  4. A while ago my dentist recommended I get an electric toothbrush - good idea - I bought one BUT I could not open the package!

    On my next visit to the dentist I brought the package to the office and had the hygenist struggle with it - until she finally opened it!!

  5. You could get a pair of those scissors that will cut through anything, but I defy you to open the plastic package they come encased in!!!!!

  6. Thanks, everyone...

    I usually alternate between 9 Lives and Friskies for cat food. The Friskies cans are much easier to open, because the lids are thinner and curl back more readily. I am having more trouble with the 9 Lives.

  7. I have not had any trouble with chipped glass--but its something worth thinking about.

    Thanks for letting me know.

  8. Ronni, assuming you did get the package open :), I'd love to hear how the glucosamine/chondroitin works for the knees. I've hesitated to try it because I've heard mixed reviews. Hope it works wonders for ya!

  9. So do I! I was hit by a car when I was 21, and, among other injuries, both my knees were wrenched. they told me I would have trouble with them, "later."

    I'm thinking that "later" is here. They hurt when I do almost anything!

  10. The protective packaging is a right pain in the ass. Any toy you buy these days, it takes Ginsu scissors and a crow bar to get it out of the package. The waste of packaging materials is scandalous as well.

    Another of my pet peeves is price stickers or product stickers on things that will not come off, generally stuck in the most obtrusive place.

  11. Thrift shops are bad, too. I hate buying shoes, and putting them on stage on somebody who turns their soles to the audience, and there, in indelible magic marker, it says, "$4.99." If they would at least put it on the sole itself, where you walk and it will eventually wear off...but no! They have to put it under the instep, where you have to paint over it.

  12. I read just a few days ago that you can use an ordinary can opener to open some of those heavy plastic packages, the ones that are kind of like turtle shells around some objects. I haven't tried it yet.
    To open jars I used to do one of these things:

    run the lid under hot water with the idea it will expand the metal, hopefully making it easier to open.

    hit the perimeter of the lid gently at an angle with the blunt edge of a butter knife hopefully making it easier to open.

    Tap the top of the jar in the center of the lid kind of forcefully with the blunt edge of a butter knife hopefully making it easier to open.

    Wear rubber gloves or use one of those rubber circles to grip the jar with one hand while twisting the lid with the other hopefully making it easier to open.

    Finally the best solution of all came from my dad's vintage kitchen gadgets collection! A strange all- metal ratchet sort of thing, with a hook on one end and a vinyl covered handle on the other. The flat hook butts up against one side of the lid, then you squeeze the handle until it ratchets to the correct size, gripping the jar firmly. Then, easily turn the ratchet while holding the jar with the other hand...voila! Jar opened with hardly any effort! Why did they ever stop making these things?