Peggy Keener: Does what bugs me, bug you?

Published 6:12 pm Friday, March 17, 2023

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So, here it is. I have some things that really rub me raw, vexing me in the most irritating of ways. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m wondering if other folks feel the same way. ‘“Other folks” … would be you!

To begin, why do those plastic bags that say “tear here” refuse to tear? The kicker is that they even offer you a dotted line to guide your tear. So, why with all that help doesn’t my tear tear? I always begin in a good humor searching out and finding the end of the dotted line. When this doesn’t work, I turn the package around and attempt my tear at the other end. Nothing. Now, I can’t very well start in the middle, so invariably I end up finding my scissors and cutting the bag open. So annoying. In my book this falls under the category of making false promises. Don’t you remember your mother telling you to never ever make promises that you can’t keep? Obviously some product designers never had mothers.

Or how about the annoying phone call with a salesman on the other end of the line chatting like your friendly neighbor from down the street? Doesn’t he know that even the most uneducated lout can identify his accent as only coming from Mumbai? I mean, come on, man.

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Does anyone remember when clothes sizes meant something? That you could rely on a large meaning large? Or is it that we are now into such truly big sizes that the manufacturers have given up on trying to be diplomatic? I mean who wants to own a pair of pants that say Jumbo or Circus Tent on the label, if you know what I mean? To me it sounds like I wear a size 10, but 12 feels so good that I wear a 14!

Speaking of size, does anyone remember when extra large eggs were extra large? I guess the lady chickens of today don’t hold a candle to their ancestors’ grit. To be fair, I will admit that those old super sized eggs must have come from boneless chickens who had no pelvic bones … or were their eggs delivered by Caesarean section? But, then, I suppose that got too costly and time consuming for the farmer, huh?

Then there is the word “guys.” When did it become the current way to address people? Take your everyday waitress/waiter for example: “Are you guys ready to order?” This is especially uncalled for in a nice restaurant … one where you don’t have to empty your own tray. “How is everything, guys?” Well, everything would be a whole lot better if you’d just leave out the “guys” part. Imagine this … “Are you ready to order?” “How is everything?” Note that the meaning has not changed, only the elimination of “guys”. Think how leaving out that one word could save on one’s time and energy to say nothing of the wear and tear on your uvula. No longer will it be rasped over by that guttural, grating “g” sound. To be sure, your relieved vocal cords will tremble with joy.

Last week I ordered some vitamins. They arrived yesterday in three bottles, each bottle only 1/3 full with the remaining 2/3 stuffed with a large cotton ball. Talk about polluting the environment with extra plastic! Four of the bottle’s contents would have fit nicely into one bottle. How dumb do they think we consumers are? It was my first time to order this product. I will have to think very hard about ordering it again.

Another thing that really gets my goat is that filmy seal that is on top of containers for cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and the like. How am I supposed to remove it? Most seals are only a millimeter larger than the rim of the container. That means I’m supposed to somehow grab onto that teeny sliver of plastic and pull. But in order to pull, I must have something larger than that teeny sliver. Would it be too much to ask for the manufacturers to add a tab? I mean a real tab. One which my finger and thumb could grasp onto?

As it is now, I am reduced to having to dangerously cut around the mouth of the container with a sharp knife. This always leaves an especially unlovely circle of jaggedy plastic that looks like your four-year-old’s first scissors lesson. This is particularly true when the seal is not plastic but rather aluminum foil. Try peeling off the slivers of that baby. That’s when a perfectly sunny day gets suddenly cloudy.

Probably the most vicious, foulest of all the cans are the ones that come with pull tabs. I’m not talking about drinks here, although I will admit to needing help with them. No, I’m talking about sardine cans. Spam and soup cans! Don’t those designers know that not every consumer has the finger strength of Popeye? Lordy, lordy! I end up with a screw driver jammed into the pull tab, meanwhile praying that my medical insurance is paid up.

And then there’s this. I order one ink cartridge for my printer. It arrives in a box large enough to hold an inflatable life raft. Now, where’s the sense in that? Amazon is the biggest culprit. Clearly their packing people failed grade school math or their robots aren’t programmed to do measurements.

But, wait! What has just happened? Having now vented all of those pesky bugs out of my system, I feel a cloud lifting. Glory be! My rants have cleansed me. And look! The sun just came out!