‘Wrap rage’ keeps Burt from helping struggling reader

Burt's Eye View

Burton Cole

Faithful reader Ron Reid cried out for help.

He probably meant to send his urgent plea to someone else. Generally, I’m the last person someone in trouble hollers to for rescue.

“Help! Save me!” a person dangling from a limb mysteriously growing out of the side of a cliff would yell.

I’d peer over the edge of the cliff. “Hey, what’s up?”

The precariously hanging precariously would gulp. “You? No, no, please don’t bother. Really. I’ll hang out a bit longer. Say, do you happen to know if anyone else will be along anytime soon?”

Such is my reputation for brave deeds and derring-do that people dare to brave out trouble before I do something to make their situation worse. Like throw them both ends of the rope.

Well, too late, Mr. Reid. Whomever you meant the message for, you accidentally sent it to me, and I’m not wasting my chance to bail you out. Please strap on a helmet, safety goggles and knee pads, and keep your hands inside the car until the ride comes to a full and complete stop. Which often slams suddenly.

Anyway, here’s what Ron Reid sent: “A subject you might want to expound on sometime is the maddening variety of packaging and wrapping which everything comes in today. Heat shrunk plastic, cereal boxes liners, pill metallic wrappings, bubble-wraps, twisty-ties, etc., (that) require tools, three hands, good lighting, manual dexterity and patience in opening, even for the simple things.”

Ah, yes. I received a handy-dandy utility tool for Christmas that includes a knife, tin snips, bottle opener, screwdriver, punch and scissors. It’s still encased in its baked-on, rock-hard plastic container. I can’t get in. I’ve shattered three saw blades and an awl so far trying to get it out.

It’s enough to make a guy spit nails. But I can’t open that package either.

This frustration is known in scientific terms as “wrap rage.”

According to Wikipedia, “wrap rage” is “the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open packaging.”

Spotify was invented because no one could open a CD case without a sledge hammer and power drill. If you did get the CD out unscathed, good luck excavating your way through layers of tape, bubble wrap, cardboard and packing peanuts to get to the new player Amazon dropped off at your doorstep.

To open a package of batteries, bring a hammer and chisel. And plenty of Band-Aids for the fingers you’ll slice on those sharp package edges. At least Band-Aids still come in a paper-thin cardboard box that you can tear open.

I’m convinced that juice cartons with those plastic pull tab spouts are equipped with hidden cameras: “Hey, George, come look at this one. I think the whole half gallon exploded across the kitchen ceiling when the ring finally let loose. These videos are a hoot!”

Meanwhile, you can’t keep a floppy foam carton full of fragile eggs closed without bungee cords and staples. Trip over the cat and both you and the feline will be cleaning yolk out of your whiskers for three days.

Call it unhinged rage.

Ron, as soon as I get this mess cleaned up, I’ll let you borrow the great new utility tool that I got for Christmas — if the dynamite loosens the packaging, that is.

Aren’t you glad you asked?

— Unwrap more of Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or at www.burtonw cole.com.


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