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Clamshells for Christmas

This is a public service announcement from those of us here at Alarmist Media, ever vigilant in protecting the public from themselves, each other, and most importantly us.

This just in:  6,000 people a year visit emergency rooms because of plastic clamshell packaging.

Thanks to the popularity of shoplifting small items, you can now buy a pair of earbuds wrapped in a suitcase-sized wad of cardboard and plastic.  And because no one wants sticky fingers popping open the package and making off with the goods, these packages have a “clamshell” seal—a crimped edge that is heat fused to make it impossible to open.

We are not being figurative here.  These packages cannot be opened.  People have tried scissors, steak knives, chef’s knives, paring knives, wire-cutters, box cutters, Xacto knives, and chainsaws.  Nothing works, which is why people wind up in the emergency room on Christmas night, getting festive Christmas stitches in the festive Christmas gashes they opened up in their thighs while trying to get little Amanda’s iPhone cover out of its box.

We at Alarmist Media believe that the 6,000 people who actually go to the ER are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, since most possessors of Y chromosomes would rather bleed to death in the living room than admit that they sliced themselves while opening “My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll.”  As a matter of fact, since we all know what Elsa is singing, they probably subconsciously are longing for death, but that’s a more private matter.

Consumer Reports used to give “Oyster Awards” to the companies with the most frustrating packaging.  Not only did they test packaging themselves, they actually had seven-year-olds who tried to open toys.  Naturally, this violated a bunch of laws and they had to quit, but before they did, they discovered that a seven-year-old cannot open a Bratz doll without damaging the doll.  It took an adult eight minutes and fifty seconds to open the doll and remove all the tabs, ties, rubber bands and other junk designed to hold the doll absolutely still during shipping.  Afterward, sharp pieces of plastic were everywhere.

We can readily see what an ideal Christmas environment is created by shards of plastic, ripped toys, and bleeding arms, legs, and hands.  We’re expecting someone to write a country song about it any minute.

Our children just have to understand that by the time we’ve opened the packaging on this stuff, it will no longer be popular.  The whole economic crash of 2008 happened because thousands of fathers were trapped under thousands of Christmas trees trying to open Furbys for the entire first quarter of the year.  No wonder the GDP tanked.

And it’s not just children who have to deal with this disappointment.  If Grandma wants an iPad, well, no problem.  Apple has easy-to-open cardboard packaging, and she can be howling in frustration with the operating system in minutes.  But don’t give her a cover for it, because she’ll miss the family reunion in June to keep gnawing on the clamshell.

Psychologists thought for a while that clamshell packaging was the solution to attention deficit problems.  Even the most hyperactive human would work for hours to extract something desirable from its packaging.  But then they found that the number of injuries skyrocketed as the items were flung out of windows, down stairs, and from moving vehicles.  Now “wrap rage” is vying for admission into the DSM, as more and more people stab themselves in attempts to open the batteries for “Disney Frozen Ice-Skating Anna.”

What can you do to protect yourself?  Give only homemade gifts!  Sure, Brandon expects a LeapFrog game system, but he’ll be thrilled that you knitted him a scarf and mittens.  At least, those are the items of outerwear you were aiming for.  It’s not your fault that they look like they were designed for the “Stomp and Chomp Grimlock Figure” that you also didn’t get him because you were afraid of the box.





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