Friday, June 13, 2008

Let Me Eat Yoghurt

Day two

Okay, so I just tried to open a container of Yoghurt, you know, cause I’m cool like that, and I cut my fingers. I sliced my fingers accessing yogurt. Is this a new anti-theft feature? Have there been a rash of yoghurt robberies that I have not heard about, in my blissful American ignorance? That’s the problem with out society today, people just don’t keep themselves informed. But, if you don’t get the yogurt that has the plastic lid, you get the one that has the aluminum foil seal. When you’ve finally managed to get your fingers on the microscopic sliver of tinfoil with which you are supposed to wrest the foil from whatever adhesive they use to secure this contraption (I think they work with Airbus), if that little piece doesn’t just tear off, leaving you with no other option than to stab the yogurt with a knife (or if you are in public and in Georgia you could shoot it using the guns that you can now carry into restaurants and on public transportation.) I think I should just ask for this at the store.

“Yes, I’ll need a yoghurt, and a knife, please. Yes, that’s right, I plan on actually eating my yoghurt, it’s not for decoration although that was obviously what its packaging planned for.” I’ve always been one of the “creative types.” Twinkies are pretty easy to open, though, so I could always just get some of those instead. They don’t make the bad stuff difficult to get at – maybe this is all part of a secret government health program and this counts as exercise. Just like ketchup counts as a vegetable in school lunches. Fucking Republicans.

Where was I? Okay, so if that piece doesn’t tear off, you pull up on it with all of your strength using your other fingers for leverage so they are pressing on the rest of the tinfoil, you can tell where I’m going with this right? It’s a universal experience. So, when the yogurt opens, it burps its yogurt filled air out onto your fingers and your clothes. How long has this product been around that we can’t fucking take care of this?

I can’t understand why yoghurt, which has a shelf life in the fridge of what, a month? two? three tops, if you’re not that picky and you drink enough tequila later to kill the bacteria. Why does yoghurt have to be packaged in such a way that if an alien race visits our planet long after humans are gone (which at the rate we’re going, I estimate to be next Tuesday around 3:15) they will spend many an academic conference discussing us as “The Yoghurt People” and wondering what special, mystical relationship we must have had with this substance.

Which brings me to the thumb drive I just bought for my computer that required six angry men and a very determined ferret to open. What possible reason can exist for making something that I now own, so fucking difficult to access? The first thing that came to mind, of course, was that it’s for the shits and giggles of the government spies who are monitoring our every movement and recording it on tiny cameras. Then, I stepped out of my freshly painted office and vowed to buy low toxic paint next time I get the urge to redecorate. I understand that the companies want to protect us, the ignorant and unpredictable consumers, from accessing what we’ve just purchased and thereby voiding the warranty or at least seriously injuring ourselves with it.

“Well, if they didn’t want me to stick the thumb drive up my nose, they shouldn’t have made it so small…”

So, I called the company. I held for 29 minutes, but I’m dedicated…and trying to avoid cleaning the bathroom– “It’s to protect the consumer from the higher prices that become necessary when people can shoplift.” Gosh, that’s so sweet of ‘em to think of me. I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy. Although that could be because of the really poor air quality where I live, thanks to a plant that is dedicated to making the plastic that I’ve just sacrificed some of my sanity to. I tried cutting it open with scissors, but they broke. That was the last pair I had too, and I’m not buying any more because they come in packages you can only open with scissors. I have to wait until the next found pair shows up in my life.

I step back inside. So who is really being protected by this packaging? Well, obviously the manufacturer probably doesn’t care because they’ve already sold their items to the stores that are selling them to us. Okay, so one evil I can’t lay at their feet. It’s pretty full down there anyway. Probably who’s benefitting most are the retail stores that sell to us. How? Well, we have to deal with packaging so strong it must be what they use in federal prisons to keep the criminally insane from escaping (note to self, find out about this…could be a moneymaker if gov’t isn’t already aware of this fabulous use – get in touch with the yoghurt glue people, too), we have to deal with this problem because the retail stores want to increase their profit margin by skimping on service. If they would simply hire enough salespeople, they could keep all of the stuff locked up somewhere and go get it when people want to buy it. Saves me frustration and saves plastic for the prisons.

However, we wouldn’t want the companies to have to suffer, so we’ll do it for them. I’d like to propose that retail stores have to buy suffering credits, just like manufacturers have to with carbon credits. BestBuy and Circuit City would run out in about 24 hours, just from the people trying to get those damn stickers of the CD jewel cases. I guess they could buy up extra ones from places like organic coffee shops and the like. I think in the end, they’d find it was cheaper just to hire some more service people. Note, I did not say sales people. Service people – that’s something that’s just outright missing. The counterargument being that people don’t like to have to deal with other people, they just want to be able to walk in, buy what they want and get out. Just because people want it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Would it kill us to have to have some human interaction? Maybe if we weren’t so good at doing things without human contact, we’d treat each other better.

It would help if these service employees were treated with respect. If service were respected in this society, it would most likely be provided with a smile instead of a snarl. Have you ever seen someone doing a job that is obviously not the job that they had fantasized about for themselves when they were a child, but doing it in such a way that they really seem happy? I almost feel like there’s something I’m missing when I see that – are they really jus fucking with me? Is that sarcasm or satisfaction? It’s hard to tell the two apart today. So, this would both create jobs, force people to remember the basic face-to-face interaction skills, save plastic for prisons, and keep me from being vulgar in front of my children (who, might I remind you, are the future).

Fuck it, who am I kidding? I’m just gonna get another Twinkie.

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