Hissy Fit

Fort Knox Could Learn A Few Things From Barbie

What's the most frustrating thing about Christmas Day? I'll give you three guesses. No, it's not timing the dinner correctly so that everything is ready at the same time. No, it's not gritting your teeth and rolling your eyes at your drunken uncle because he's the only one that thinks his gas passing abilities are funny, and no, it's not listening to your sister preparing her list of returns.

Okay already. I'll tell you. The most frustrating thing on Christmas Day is trying to get the toy packages open so your child can actually play with the toys inside of them. One should not have to put on work gloves and break a sweat to get Barbie out of her blister pack. It tells you right on the package if batteries are required. However, there is no mention that you may need a full set of tools to actually free her from her package.

No you don't need to be a brain surgeon to figure it out, but I have to say it might be an advantage. After all, it does take at least one assistant to hand you the tools as you methodically inspect the next step in snipping, tweezing, separating, untwisting, and cutting the toy free. "Pliers, check, screwdriver, check, wire cutters.," sounds like surgery to me. Why is it you need the "Jaws of Life" to get poor Barbie out of her blister pack? Hello, it's not Car-Wreck Barbie! No one should have to wage war with a package. Yes, you will ultimately win, but not without a historical note in the books recounting the Battle at Blister Pack.  And I promise you will quickly figure out why it is called blister packaging. By the time you have fumbled, and fought, and blundered and bungled, and struggled and scuffled with the package to get her out, there is at least one blister on each hand.

I have to stop and wonder about the people that work in the packaging department at toy factories. You never hear about anyone at the toy factory "going postal." Maybe, that's because they've gotten all of their frustrations out by bounding and gagging the poor toys all day.  Or maybe they are the safest people in the world. But have they considered the high-stress and potential heart attacks that can occur by the possibility of being defeated by a blister pack? I can see them now. "Okay she's strapped around her waist, both wrists, neck, and both ankles. We better add one more around her hips just in case there's a tsunami on the way to America." What's the chance? Come on, a heart attack is much more likely.

The bottom line is this. Children's toys should not have to come in child-proof packages, unless of course, the toys are dangerous or covered in lead paint. But then you would think there would be a warning on the label or something, especially since we've known since the 1970's that lead paint is very dangerous. Actually, one would think that would not be a toy at all.

Have a great holiday, but please, go easy on the scotch.tape that is. It's already hard enough without having to struggle to unwrap the present too!

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