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Dang It!

Fact: I am not going to be able to open shrink-wrapped things in the near future.

This week I struggled for ten whole minutes trying to get a filet of fish out of its hermetically sealed package. First, I tried to gently peel away the plastic from one corner. No joy. Then I cut it on one side. No success. I shook it, coaxed it, and cajoled it. Nope. Aggression set in at about minute three and before I knew it I had mutilated the filet. Fish fluid was all over my kitchen and I was leaning on the sink panting and livid. Another few minutes went by before the filet was in my hand.

What in God's name is this all about?!

Well, guess what! There is such a thing called "Wrap Rage". No kidding! It has a wikipedia entry and all.

"Wrap rage, also called package rage, is the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open packaging, particularly some heat-sealed plastic blister packs and clamshells."

Sadly, I experience wrap rage far more than road rage, loss-of-internet rage, or United-airlines rage.

The American Dialect Society chose "Wrap Rage" as its Most Useful Word (not phrase, really?) in 2007. And you thought you were the only one who couldn't dig into the light bulb package without crushing the glass. I know that "package opener" will be a bona fide profession in my lifetime. You know how I know this? Once arthritis sets in, I will pay people to open clamshells.

Battery packs are downright diabolical. But why fish?!

Consumer Reports gives out the "Oyster Award" for the most difficult packaging to open. Who knew this is a world-class sport deserving of its own championship trophy, from Consumer Reports nonetheless! The US Consumer Products Safety Commission estimated 6,000 ER visits in 2007 from injuries related to plastic packaging. I can only imagine this number is larger now. Think of how many times you've used a knife or scissor tip to dig into a package and accompanied that with a primal scream? I know. I know. You aren't supposed to use a knife but ask those ER docs how many of us succumb.

Don't feel alone, my friends. I am with you as you cry whenever you are confronted with vicious packaging. I mourn with you. I sigh. I rage. And I hope that the brilliant scientists of the world will come up with a less lethal way of protecting what we buy because it seems totally absurd to use our superhero wish for opening a packet of fish!! #epicfail

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