I have always sympathised with the elderly.
Not, of course, over the emergence of their latent conservatism; their habit of blaming the coloured people for everything that ails society; their clacking and hissing plastic teeth; their going on long cruise holidays instead of spending the money on proper dentistry; their addiction to thermal underwear catalogues; their ready adoption of Skype technology to communicate with their families in New Zealand (I’m so technophobic, I had to go back to the shop recently, after a full month had gone by, to lamely enquire of the mildly stunned proprietor how I was supposed to answer an incoming call on my new Smartphone, as I hadn’t quite got the knack yet and was too embarrassed to ask my son?).
No, my sympathy today has rather gone out to elderly people who have trouble accessing packaged goods.
I had always assumed that their inability to get at the contents of cans, screwtop jars, foil catfood packets, boil-in-the bag kipper bags, sachets of ketchup and bottles of Wincarnis was because they suffered from some chronic debilitating physiological condition brought on by age and more, affecting the strength in their bony old wrists, liverish hands and knobbly fingers. Rheumatism, perhaps. Arthritis. Tendonitis. Whitlows. Reynaud’s Disease. Gout. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Parkinson’s. Polyneuritis. Undiagnosed wheat allergy, plus many, many more.
In the past, I have always prided myself on my readiness to spring forward with a cheery ‘here, let me help you with that!’ on my lips.
Having just sat down, perspiring, after several minutes’ battling to force my way inside a plastic tub of melting ice-cream, writing now as an elderly person myself, I can only say that I have no health issues whatever affecting my wrists, hands or fingers. I still possess a grip like a drowning man’s on a passing straw, a Scotsman’s on his wallet, that could crush the air bubbles out of a solid chunk of granite rock, or the testicles of a packaging designer.
But I am no match for Mr Carte d’Or (the posh name for Wall’s, for some reason it means Golden Menu – not to be confused with Mr D’Oyly Carte, the founder of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Savoy Opera company. Why would you?) and his new, consumer-proof ice-cream packaging, that seems intended to permanently separate anyone not a candidate for the title of TV’s The World’s Strongest Man from his Intense Chocolate Experience, with added chocolate. I am not even sure that strength is entirely the key. Advanced weaponry might be more apposite. Drone support. Russian tanks. A Swiss-army powered exoskeleton, thoughtfully equipped with a mechanical digger arm and a carborundum disc-cutter.
I shan’t go into the technicalities, the mechanics, the ergonomics of the way in which the lid of the tub has been deliberately deepened so that, even when you have located and removed the sharp-edged little plastic tab that protects the formerly free corner at which you are expected to lever it off, and found a plaster to staunch the bleeding, it can by no means be forced to part with the main body of the receptacle within which, as Monty Python might have put it, reposes the desired comestible.
I’m not an engineering expert. But I am, deep down in my hypothalamus, a very angry, knife-wielding old lizard. And I always get what I want, even if it does end up all over the floor.
You have been warned, annoying baboons of the packaging industry.
The gummies are coming!
You answer my Smartphone, apparently, not just by prodding hopefully at the green ‘on’ button, as you might expect, but by expertly flicking it across the screen with your thumb until it sits exactly on top of the red ‘off’ button. Logical?
I am inordinately proud therefore to have discovered, entirely by myself alone, that you can in fact reconfigure the phone settings to answer any incoming call simply by pressing the same physical button that switches the screen on and off, and no jiggery-pokery playing shove-ha’penny on a touchscreen that doesn’t work if the weather is even slightly moist.
Couldn’t Team Samsung have organised that to happen in the first place? Logical?