Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Secure Packaging

Seven year's ago, whilst heavily pregnant with Tinkerbell Mushroom, we visited the Millennium Dome. It was one of those mad things that you do when you are heavily pregnant, because you know that after the baby is born you may not feel like traipsing round the Capital with four children and a baby in tow, and might just not make the exhibition before it finishes at the end of the year.

Four children aged 9 and under, waddling mother and hubby approached the dream zone. A zone designed for ultimate peace. People were lying down on the slope thinking of nothing but complete "calm".

Until we walked in that is.

As was often the case in those days, everything was stored on the buggy, packed lunches, nappies, handbag, changes of clothes.... So when the gymnast, then aged 18 months climbed out of her seat, and the pushchair toppled, clattered and rolled down the slope, it was no surprise. Feeling hot and bothered I went to pick up the offending article and mouthed apologies to all that had been enjoying the calm before our entourage arrived.

"Uh oh" said the gymnast. "Pushchair fall over".

We exited from that - fast, and went to have a look at the Millennium Diamond which was very nice. So nice in fact that it disappeared from the dome shortly after that, because it was subject to a foiled robbery attempt. They whisked it away from prying eyes for safer storage.

Seven year's and two months later (Sunday morning last) I lie in bed in that sort of "aware that there are people up but ignoring them" sort of phase of sleep.

Can you open it Mum?

The plastic packaging was on my pillow. To be greeted first thing by a Barbie style doll is not quite the same as a cup of tea. I opened my eyes and looked at said doll. "Can you not do it?" I ask. "I've tried. I can't do it."

I sit up in bed and have a go at unwrapping.

Sealed plastic. Realise that we need scissors for this one. Reluctantly get up, go downstairs and find the scissors. Trim off the edge of the packaging and have a another go. Hubby who is already downstairs looks at it. "You need to take the cardboard backing off, so that you can undo the tags." "But there are no tags in the cardboard. Look." In hubby style he points out that there are two skins of cardboard and that if I remove the first skin, all will become clear. More scissors. More surgical removal.

Am then greeted by approximately 25 tied fastenings and many sealed plastic tags.

Hubby and I look at each other. (I notice, slightly smugly, that his somewhat slightly smug look has disappeared from his face.)

More scissors, Lots of untying of tags. Eventually....... after a full 10 minutes I finally reach the doll. After another five minutes, including a trip back to the bin due to having thrown away an essential part of the piece that had been hidden well inside another bit of packaging, I hand over the doll to Tinkerbell Mushroom.

Perhaps Mattel should patent that design, so that the next time De Beers have a bit of a special diamond on hand and under threat from a burglary attempt, they will buy themselves a bit more time to get the police there in time.


Ailsa said...

Why do children often ask Mum to do things when she is (pretending to be) asleep even though Dad is up and awake?

Plastic can be very frustrating. I find toothbrushes very difficult to open, whilst bags containing lots of crumbs seem to fall apart as soon as you open them.

Alice Band said...

Great Blog. We bought Bea a Cinderella house for her birthday in January. I have NEVER witnessed packaging like it. I tore my hands to shreds and as for the assembling of said cstle, well.. She has never played with it apart from a three inch cube clock tower that dongs 12 times and which took no assembly and whic can be removed from the castle.

enidd said...

enidd thinks they should package fattening foods like that. even if you did persevere long enough to eat the thing, you'd have burnt off more calories than you consumed.

Sally Lomax said...

Ailsa - I think that they should put such packaging on crisps - to avoid the crumbs everywhere!
Alice - That reminds me of so many things over theyears. Expensive toy and they play with teh bit that supposed to not even be much part of it!
Enidd - Patent it. Quickly!

Ignorminious said...

I visited the Dome on the very last day. Was rather good as I remember. Luckily for me there were no noisey families in the dream zone that day, so I got to sit in peace and quiet for a while and marvel at how much quieter it was than the rest of the Dome.

Asha said...

I hate those sealed plastic too, specially those which come with Electronic things which probably costs less than the plastic cover!!:D
Love the Doll although we never owned one before.My kid is a tomboy!!;p

Sally Lomax said...

Ig - Yes...I can only imagine!
Ahsa - Yes!!

Lisa said...

Ha, brilliant, Sally!
I always dread birthdays and Christmas, merely for the plastic 'fortresses' you are required to open!

Eliza said...

toothbrushes, i agree. it's like they want me to get yellow teeth

ChrisB said...

Been there done that with so many things but I love the enidd idea. I thought manufacturers were supposed to be helping the environment by reducing packaging!!

That diamond was quite spectacular; staring through the viewing window will be the closest I will ever get to something that valuable!

Karmyn R said...

Hee Hee -

and yes - I HATE Twist ties and doll packaging. They are my nemesis.

Enidd has a good idea.

Sally Lomax said...

Lisa - My thoughts exactly!
Eliza - Perhaps it's because the same people sell the whitening devices too!
Chris - Yes it was a very spectacular diamond wasn't it?
Karmyn - Mine too - as you can gather!

headless chicken said...

This blog made me laugh - K and I always curse whilst attempting to battle through the impenetrable packaging of kids toys. The problem I also have is figuring out how the damn thing works once it is set free!!!This applies to anything with more complicated instructions than just an on/off button. I find it all too Krypton Factor.
Your blogs always make me laugh/smile/nod in agreement or all three. Thanks!
p.s. Have you read the email I sent yesterday?

Beccy said...

I've found cutting the tags works better than all the untying but it is still a pain.

I also visited the dome seven years ago whilst pregnant. I remember the diamond but must have missed the dream zone!

Sally Lomax said...

HC - Still no email......strange! It's:


Third time lucky?
Thanks for the lovely comments!

Beccy - Perhaps you were dreaming at the time! How funny that we were both at the MD, pregnant!!