Neman: With some food packaging, you dare to try to open it | eating and cooking

Back in 1975, the very first broadcast of Saturday Night Live featured a commercial spoof that remains a classic to this day.

The product was called Triopenin and was a drug used to relieve pain in arthritis. The slick announcer says that triopenine “provides soothing relief where it’s needed,” that it’s “gentle, doesn’t take any getting used to,” and “helps soothe muscles and relieve stiff, achy joints.”

Meanwhile, we see a pair of arthritic hands trying to unscrew the medicine bottle cap and failing. Frustrated, the hands try to hammer the plastic bottle on the table, in vain.

Finally, we see a bottle lying on its side, spilling pills, clearly after being hit with a hammer, as the announcer triumphantly declares, “Now with the new childproof safety cap.”

The medicine is pronounced “Try openin'”.

I’ve been thinking about this commercial spoof ever since I received an email from a reader.

People also read…

Naomi Runtz from Ladue is 89 years old. She still cooks three meals a day for herself and her husband, and sometimes for her whole family. The day before she wrote to me she had cooked a corned beef dinner for eight people.

It’s not the cooking that’s a problem for her. It gets into the food packaging and jars.

“It’s nice that everything is sealed well to store and prevent leakage. However, it’s taking me so long to open things up,” she wrote.

I understand completely. When my wife can’t open a tight lid on a jar, she hands it to me so I can open it and feel strong and manly.

Except when I don’t. Some of these lids are very difficult to open, especially when pressurized or just a little tight. And while I have an Adonis-like physique made up almost entirely of cascading and/or curling muscles, my grip strength is a little weak.

I’m a lover, not a fighter – nor an opener of tight lids. Sometimes I have to use a rubber band. Occasionally I’ll bang the lid gently against the counter.

It works, the lid comes off and I haven’t broken a glass yet. I mean not to do that.

It’s not just glasses either. Some groceries, like certain types of rice, come in thick plastic bags. You should be able to pull two parts of the bag apart at a seam so that it can be closed again.

I often can’t. I use scissors for these easy-to-open bags, probably more often than I should admit.

My lovely correspondent, Mrs. Runtz, suggested a solution.

“I wish the manufacturer would add a little ‘pull tab’ to save 10-15 minutes of frustration. Perhaps you could use your influence to promote this idea. A simple thing like that would make food preparation so much more enjoyable.”

I’m deeply flattered that she thinks I have any influence at all. That’s sweet. I also like the idea of ​​a pull tab when it could be added to packages cheaply and efficiently. I see it as a pull tab on a zipper that attaches to the side of a jar lid or one of those thick plastic bags I have such trouble with.

If it’s not a pull tab, maybe some brilliant engineer or designer could come up with a novel way to open leak-proof food packages. After all, the population of this country is getting older.

It can be done. The childproof cap on the last bottle of medicine I got was a lot easier to open than it used to be.

Leave a Comment