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  • Writer's pictureJerry Della Femina


I’ve lived in the most incredible times in the history of mankind.

Take television … We went from squinting at a tiny 10-inch screen with a magnifier in front of it so that one could make out Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob in glorious black and white … to today where there’s a monster wall-size movie theater in almost every living room.

These days you see young men and women walking down the street staring at their little iPhones like hypnotized fools. Watch them as they risk their lives by walking into the middle of traffic without lifting their heads. They’re getting important messages about some disgusting kale recipe or silly Instagram pictures of their friends who are idiots acting like idiots.

So much progress.

I remember when I was 10 years old having my mother stop me from drinking from a fountain on a playground park:

“Don’t put your lips there, Jerry, you’ll catch polio.”

So I stayed thirsty until I could drink water from my faucet at home. Then along came the Salk vaccine and now I drink from polio-free public fountains every day.

In 1969 men actually walked on the moon. Imagine that – space travel – with brave men reaching the moon.

So you may ask: What great advancement is left to benefit mankind?

I’ll tell you what:

It may take billions of dollars and some of the finest scientific minds in the world, but mark my words someday … someday we will see the greatest advance in history.

On that fateful day, someone will invent a way that you can pull plastic wrap out of the box without it catching and failing to rip cleanly, thus turning into a wrinkled mess, where you have to try and pry apart pieces of plastic wrap that have a death grip on other pieces of plastic wrap and all the while you are cursing Reynolds and SC Johnson and every other criminal company that makes plastic wrap.

It happens to me every time I try to use a piece of plastic to wrap a piece of leftover food or cover a bowl so that the liquid contents won’t spill out.

You know the drill. It’s Thanksgiving night, you’re exhausted from cooking all day, and all you want to do is wrap a few pieces of leftover turkey and throw them in the refrigerator.

So you take out the plastic wrap and if it’s a new box, there is no way you can figure out how to start the roll and free that first invisible piece of plastic from the roll of plastic it is hugging.

After an hour of pulling and pushing, you get a piece of plastic started. Now, of course, you want to cut it. Forget about those jagged teeth that are attached to the box. They cut nothing but your hand. They hold on to the plastic wrap until you watch it curling and wrinkling and all of a sudden you are in a wrestling match with a piece of plastic wrap, and the plastic wrap is winning.

But the day will come (before I die I hope) when mankind will win the war against wrinkled plastic wrap, and on that day, men will bow their heads in awe and women will cry with joy.

Other problems that people over the age of 70 face is that their hands do not work as easily as they once did. They’re just not as strong as they used to be.

It’s a sad thing and God’s little joke that at the same time you reach an age that you have trouble bending and picking up objects is the same time when you drop the most objects.

So along comes this new hard plastic shell packing that makes it impossible for anyone over 70 to get to the razor blades or lipstick or a life-saving medicine like Imodium without having to fight for hours to open the package.

I have used a hammer on the hard plastic shell packaging. I have used scissors, I’ve used a knife.

Emergency rooms are flooded with men and woman my age or older showing up with gashes in our palms because we are desperate to break through this tamper-proof package and swallow some stupid little life-saving pills.

What’s infuriating is the package companies are boasting about what they have done. Here’s a message from one of these packing companies, and I say it’s an open confession of crimes against the elderly:

“A tamper-resistant package is designed to resist opening and access to the product within the container. One way that organizations in the food and beverage industry – as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and other industries – are making their product packages resistant to tampering is by using shrink film. When heat is applied to shrink film, which is a form of clear plastic, it shrinks tightly over the package, making the package difficult to open.”

I know it’s Christmas time, with “Good will towards mankind” and all that stuff. But a televised public hanging of the fiend who developed the impossible-to-open hard plastic shell packaging is in order. (Perhaps it could be a special on Netflix, as they will stream anything.)

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