“Open Up?”

Contemplating a soup can(I know that I need a life!) I saw that once again designers had found a way to complicate something. Instead of opening it with a can opener, the new design features a pull-top. One of the places I have lost some strength is in my hands. My mother, at my age, invested in an electric can opener to compensate for this issue. This new packaging presents a similar challenge, one I failed. Apparently I was to “pull back slowly” and the lid would come off. On a soda can this was easier because the tin was quite thin. The soup can, however, is made of sterner stuff and doesn’t yield so easily. The tab broke off, the soup still safely ensconced. Fortunately the can opener still worked on it.

A few years ago I faced a similar challenge trying to extract tempting looking salad greens from their plastic enclosure. No matter how I turned it, poked at it, pulled at it, stared at it and spoke less than kindly to it, the greens stayed safely away from my fork. Finally a cafeteria worker came over and quickly opened it. Unfortunately she opened it so fast that I didn’t see how she did it. The next day I ordered something not so cleverly contained. When I looked on-line for an image of the confounding packaging, I found a similar item pictured on the left above. Apparently it is to make the food “tamper proof.” It would certainly do that!

My life seems full of feats to be performed for which my previous 72 years of life left me sadly unprepared. From operating my phone, to turning on the television, using the rest room, and opening food containers I have learned that I need a class on surviving ordinary life. It’s an entrepreneurial  opportunity just waiting to be taken up.

26 thoughts on ““Open Up?”

  1. It is ironic that child proof/tamper proof packaging can only be opened by the smallest of children. I have lost count of the number of times I have projected pills into the stratosphere when trying to extricate them from blister packs, or the number of cuts resulting from the foil backing.

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  2. I know what you mean. Those pull top cans get harder and harder to open. Fortunately you can usually find the same product in a regular can. The plastic packaging can be just as difficult; I wish there was a better alternative.

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  3. I know exactly how you feel, Elizabeth. Things that used to seem so simple have gotten more complicated with “improvements” in technology.

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  4. Here in the UK those tops have been around for some time. In fact, I get irritated when I find a can that needs the old fashioned type of opener and can never find where I’ve put the thing. (I gave up the electric one that took up space on my worktop for a neat little gizmo that sits on top of your can and buzzes around it that could go in a drawer. Any drawer…) I have broken a couple of pull-tops in the past but I put that down to sub-standard pull-tops.
    My mum had problems with the pull-tops so we bought her a bit of plastic that pulled them off. Unlike Pete’s (further up) this one looks like a clunky plastic J; you have to lever up the pull-top a little bit to get it under. I’m sure better ones are available now.
    I do have problems though with screw-top bottles and jars. I used to be able to unscrew the most vacuum-sealed jam jars, but now I have to resort to a gizmo to grip it tight enough and turn. Even unscrewing the bottom of my blender requires a cloth of some kind (and it was me that screwed it on!) so I can only surmise that my skin is thinner than it used to be and my wrists are weaker.

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    1. I would love the little gizmo that buzzes around the can. It never occurred to me that the problem was with the pull tab. I always think it’s something I’m doing. I have a little rubber circle that the bank gave out that grips tight lids. Our skin is thinner and our wrists are weaker.

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  5. As Cathy says, it’s not often you find a non-ring-pull tin in the UK now. I think it’s supposed to be safer – no jagged edges. Often just lifting the ring up vertical will start it off, making it then easier to pull (although I did once break the thing off), but if it’s still a problem then either wooden spoon handle as lever or get a gadget.

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  6. 🤣🤣🤣 i loved it through and through. As i am growing on years, i am getting to understand the ‘finger strength’ part already. I can imagine how you felt. I think these people who serve such stuff must run crash courses on ‘How to Open Your Food’. Tamper proof, surely…

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  7. Oh, Elizabeth, you really are so funny. I have been trying to teach my mom how to use Facebook from her new iphone. My FB and an iphone I helped her acquire. She likes to see our relatives but doesn’t want her own account.

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