Opening an Aspirin Bottle Can Give You a Headache

By DOTTY CRONAN | Nov 01, 2017

OK, so we’ve all learned that an 8-by-11-inch box of cereal is definitely not filled to the brim:  “This product is sold by weight, not volume.” Prior to this disclaimer, I experienced one disappointment after another. Now I know enough to expect half a box of cereal and half a bag of chips.

I accept the possibility that it’s some sort of turn screw inside my tube of lipsticks that actually allows for only half a tube of lipstick. But it’s absolutely unacceptable that my latest tube of lipstick, pink cashmere, is not only half the length of the tube, but also half the width! It’s like a straw in a soda bottle, like a stirrer in a Tom Collins, a wick in a candle.

Since giving up lipstick is not an option, I’ve got a shopping crisis in my near future. My tubes of coral gleam, lilac frost and saucy mauve, as well as my skinny tube of pink cashmere, are all worn down to the nub. Whatever I replace them with is definitely going to be packaged in a see-through outer shell.

I’ve always realized my makeup compact had to leave room for the powder puff, but the layer of powder was always thicker than the puff. Not anymore. Now the layer of powder is thinner than a vinyl record, thinner than a slice of salami, thinner than a Necco wafer. “Less Product, More Package” must be the plaque hanging in every packaging designer’s office worldwide – bonuses for the most deceptive.

Anything that comes in a metal tube the shape of a toothpaste tube is sure to be an outrageous waste of money. When I stop squeezing my soft, plastic toothpaste tube, the minty white paste stops dispensing. Immediately! How important is that? Well, I don’t waste any of my $2.99 purchase price.

But when I stop squeezing my thick metal tube of $376.96 prescription medication, the stuff keeps coming and coming like summer traffic on LBI, like the bulls chasing the idiots in Pamplona! Trying to stop this disaster turns me into a raging bull desperate to trample the idiot manufacturer of this grossly malfunctioning dispenser. Don’t they test their product? Or do they know darn well the inflexible tube will waste tons of its expensive product?

The headache from deceptive, malfunctioning packaging can drive me to yet another product: aspirin. After opening a stubborn, way-too-soft bottle of water, then mopping the overflow off my hands, arms and floor, I grab the bottle of pain pills off the shelf. I twist the top. It doesn’t budge. Twist again – no go. I pinch the sides of the cap and twist again. It still doesn’t turn, as the little arrows promise.

By now I’m snorting like a bull and rubbing my arthritic hands. I sling the bottle of aspirin back into the cabinet and grab the ibuprofen. This product promises to open if I just push down and turn in the direction of the little arrow that looks like a smile. Another broken promise. I end up wringing the neck of that stupid little smile with a nutcracker until it surrenders its contents. I swear they did not make these safety caps to protect children. They created them to give old people more reasons to need their product.

So I pop my pain pills, snatch a soda and an unopened half-bag of cheese crackers and head to my lounge chair to simmer down and relax a bit. I place my soda on a coaster and, foolishly, follow the manufacturer’s directions to simply pull the bag of crackers open from opposite sides. What was I thinking!? The bag explodes like one of those cloth-covered spring snakes out of the fake peanut can. Now I’m left with only a quarter bag of cheese crackers and a mess to clean up. Well, now I know who buys all the Krazy Glue.

Now if I can just find the right tools in my husband’s shed to get my new mini-sweeper out of its brittle plastic bubble, I can get this mess cleaned up!

Dotty Cronan lives in Forked River, N.J.





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