CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Christmas is coming! Are you ready for it?
No, I don't mean have you finished your Christmas shopping and gotten all the cards in the mail. I am thinking about what I call the "inaccessibility factor."
Have you assembled all the necessary tools you will need bright and early on Christmas morning as you face the gifts you and your anxiously awaiting children will have received? Do you have sharp scissors, a wedge, pliers, a sturdy knife, a beer bottle opener, an ice pick and possibly a small crowbar?
My first husband predicted that some day someone would invent the unopenable package -- and that was 50 years ago. At the time it was a problem that surfaced mainly under the Christmas tree.
However, I must have experienced some difficulty even then because he frequently remarked that when I opened a box it appeared to have been torn apart by an explosion from within. Little did he know!
Could he possibly have envisioned Annapolis, Md.-based Atlantic Shrink Wrapping Inc. (and, yes, it does exist, dear reader), which has shrink-wrapped tractors, helicopters and even an historic train station in Virginia?
Now that I have found, to my dismay, that I qualify as one of the "oldest of the old," I would welcome an external fuse on almost everything to detonate the impenetrable packaging rampant in my daily life.
The whole thing started with the 1982 Tylenol scare and was hastened along by the increasing number of toddlers gulping down grandma's pills. A number of years ago, Consumer Reports gave out an "Oyster Award" for the most frustratingly unopenable packaging -- there were 10 entrants and the prize went to the Barbie Doll. It took a strong young man 28 minutes to access Barbie and all her accoutrements.