Most mornings at work, I read job-related email while chowing down a bowl of breakfast cereal soaked in skim milk. Recently, I purchased a box of organic high fiber, low-fat, whole grain cereal, rich in Omega-3s and dotted with freeze-dried blueberries. The manufacturer calls this product “nutritionally sophisticated” but the eater could just as easily describe it as flavorless.
I expect fortified strands, seeds and flakes to have the texture and taste of pencil shavings, but I will never understand why a blowtorch is required to unseal the freshness bag within the box. If one does a three word Google search on packaging, difficult, and open, thirteen million results appear in 0.39 seconds, most dedicated to the tortuous hard plastic shell casing invented by a descendant of the Marquis de Sade.
Some chip and popcorn bags are impossible to open if you fail to exploit the notch in the lip, others that are notch-less open with ease, and a third group are open-averse unless cut with the jaws of life third cousin twice removed, a scissors. My cereal’s defiant inner freshness bag is in this latter group.
Why must a simple inner freshness bag be welded shut with an adhesive so powerful it could rip flesh off the bone if applied to exposed skin? As I struggle to tear open the obstinate bag that is rewarding me with searing pain in the fingers and thumbs, the sane solution is to stop battling and cut the bag with a scissors. But, who’s sane first thing in the morning?
Certainly not me.
I am as determined to conquer opening this plastic bag with my bare hands as tennis champion Rafael Nadal was to win the career Gland Slam. Yet, the bag could be Rafael Nadal since it is beating me. The best I can achieve is a tracheotomy-sized hole in the center of it.
Logically, I know I should stop, but since I am temporarily insane I must continue. Incensed, I persist, slip my fingers inside the hole, and in a futile attempt to get the bag to open across the top, it resists. I am only succeeding in expanding the hole. Exhausted with playing mouse and cat, the bag one-ups me.
The seam down the middle splits. The cereal spills out onto my desk’s top.
In response to this fiasco of my own making, my boss announces, “The copier needs toner.” I scream inside my head, “Are you blind? Can’t you see I’m having a cereal crisis!” She notices my problem. “And why do you have all that cereal on your desk?” Before I can explain, she walks away.
With my stomach growling like a ravenous pack animal, I replace the toner, glaring at the ripped open cereal bag sitting triumphantly on my desk.
The next day, I eat a bagel.