Monday, October 18, 2010

Open Sez-a-Me!

Necessity being Frank Zappa's backing band, I managed today to find a unique (to me) way to open those fucking annoying hermetically sealed plastic(1) packs that almost everything comes entombed in these days. Of course I am a genius to come up this method and hereby declare that it is patent-pending in the name: "The E@L Alcatraz Clamshell Opening Method". Royalties shall be expected. Remember, piracy is theft. (I saw that on a movie torrented the other night. It was a Japanese movie, language was "the original Polish". I kid you not.) And re: royalties, please be generous, I'll need to pay the Mouse's salary next year.

Meanwhile, who was the fucking idiot who thought that making products completely inaccessible was a good idea? It used to be bad enough when conventional plastic wrapping first hit the streets. Initially it was Mars bars, sugar sachets and condom wrappers. "Just give me a product that don't have to open with your teeth," was my not infrequent complaint in those heady and anonymous years (pre-blogging) when calories, carbohydrates and sex where my main obsessions. Unlike now.

Well, yes, you can try and open one of the new-fangled hard cases with your teeth, but they'd better be the pearly white, razor-sharp choppers of a giant shark if you expect to make any impression (dental joke, haha) on the impenetrable plastic. Anything you do to these bastards without special tools is effort completely wasted, or might only result in the raising of dangerous jagged edges at the small hiatuses (hiatii?) that you might have made into the top of the package with your *useless and inappropriate tool of choice*. Other people (not sharks, I presume) have tried with varying measures of success. The recommended way discussed on Wiki-how is to use a manual can-opener(2). That's fine I guess if you are at home and have one handy. Ruley, ruley sharp scissors or finger-cutters, sorry I mean box cutters, can do it of course but the warnings the Wiki-experts give are valid. It is bloody easy to do yourself damage with these weapons, as well as with those resulting jagged shards. These edges come at you like aforementioned sharks (not shards) when, once you have made a significant enough breach in the casing, you attempt to use manual force (you're a tough guy, a little bit of adamantine plastic is not going to defeat you) to rip the rest of sealing apart. What happens is that the sundered edges do not conform to the anticipated path of release - the tear swizzes from the side of the package through to the middle and the rearing edges rip into your flesh like weasels.


Well I am not at home with my trusty toolkit by my side. I've been in this bloody hotel room for two weeks already and there are another three to go. I do not have access to my sharp scissors, my box-cutters, my fingernail-paring-shaped surgical needles and my silk 02 thread to repair my damaged body parts, nor my manual can-opener and neither my tin-snips. (Don't actually own tin-snips.) Which is good for my continued survival as I am sure Thailand is going to drive me suicidal (how much sex can a man put up with?) soon enough. I am lucky then that you can't just walk up to an apothecary here in Bangkok and ask for whopping amounts of otherwise dangerous prescription-only drugs - such as, for a random example, enough Viagra or Cialis to explode an elephant's trunk.

One thing I DO have, speaking of (not Cialis and not elephant trunks) fingernail parings, is one set of those trusty but dangerous-on-airplanes weapons - my nail-clippers. One of? you ask. Yep, I own two and I now keep this set in my travel bag and have another always in the bathroom at home, because chances are 1 to 100 that I would forgot to pack it otherwise. What am I, stupid? (No! I've already told you I'm a genius! Don't you listen?) Of course sometimes I pack the bathroom one as well and have two in my toilet-bag when I arrive and unpack. Chances are I'll leave one if not both of them there when I check-out.

Hey! Stop raving on you lot... See, look, pay attention.

Here is the E@L method, demonstrated in the photos below.

Step 1. duck into the bathroom and grab your sturdy nail-clippers - the ones you get at The Body Shop for $37 are fine - and take on the impenetrable polycarbonate(?) clamshell casing. Place clippers over the seam at the edge (they *just* fit), bite down a few times really hard, move one clipper's width to either side (to the right if you are left-handed and to the right if you are right-handed) and bite down again, hold firmly, then twist the clippers. You'll hear a crack (eventually) and the first of your chomps into the transparent tomb of whatever you have bought at the IT store is done. Continue (to the right if you are left-handed and to the right if you are right-handed) until one of the ends is completely open, then maybe give another clip around the side to release the corners, and you'll find it (relatively) easy (mind the sharps jagged edges! How many time do I have to warn you?) to rip the packaging apart. Unless you are a girly-girl.

Step 2(ish - might have missed some numbering there): because you failed to heed the multiple warnings re: sharp edges, step quickly to the bathroom again to staunch the blood-flow from the remnants of your digital artery using the cotton wool pads, the ear-drum puncturing devices, and the shower cap. Now go back (Step 3?) and remove whatever it was that you couldn't get to inside the package and use the fucking thing, after all that pain and effort.

You get the idea already don't you? The following photos are completely unnecessary.

Here they are anyway. Not everyone is intuitive as you.

Doneskies! And with hardly any blood loss!

Of course if you don't even have nail-clippers, you'll have to resort to your AK-47.

Once your package is open, please, please go after the guy who invented them and scatter a magazine load around his completely penetrable liver, as a favour to me.


1: Or is it that ultra-hard carbon stuff that the guys won the Nobel prize for the other week?

2: Addendum: now I think about it, I have tried using my can-opener at home - useless.


HKMacs said...

I suppose it's no coincidence is it that your helpful JPEGS are those funny ones with grey bits over the essentials.

expat@large said...


DanPloy said...

I see it says it is an intelligent drive.
I think your problem is you purchased the one specialising in mechanical engineering. If you had bought the one specialising in philosophy not only might the conversation have be more stimulating but it would have only been wrapped in a threadbare cardigan.

expat@large said...

Dan: it's just for storing pron anyway. No need for philosophy or interesting conversations.

Unknown said...

Photos of the blood and gore next time otherwise I think that you may be taking poetic licence and turning a slight cut into a raging torrent of blood and guts.

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