It always fries my brains when I have nothing more creative to do with my time than visit a computer store. It is a bit like sending a Brit soldier to gulf without any body armour. I am always caught between friendly fire of spotty computer experts who start rubbing themselves up against a flatscreen thinner than a fagpaper while explaining difference between 12 bit and 16 bit digital processing. The ears loosen from moorings I start to suck my thumb and playfully kick heels. Apart from ugliness of computer furniture, I have very little to say about it all as it is not my chosen field. I might add that I find odd transition of white to black monitors although some sort of fashion statement will not be changed purely to match cushions in my house. That, suffice to say, is hardly more excitement than I can possibly bear. Who decides this bollocks? You and l just get used to black computers, and a brass 'wirewool' finish with pastel stencils will rocket into market no doubt. What next, pewter printers and walnut keyboards? My friend usually swings by computer shop while on his own errands because frankly, I would slip out of this dimension and straight into a coma if somebody tried to educate me on such matters.
But what is it with designer packaging? I watched on news recently about a certain 'Mr Big' who was arrested for peddling cheap DVD's and it would appear he owed his brief success to selling movies for about three quid and thus had very few complaints from his growing customer base. Now if an Asian asylum seeking entrepreneur can spot a corner in market after just six years in 'Blighty' what does that tell you about our over-priced, over-packaged, over-hyped, etc etc products, whose manufacturers are surprised when a pirate industry springs up and takes 40% of business?
Buying good quality contraband should be encouraged to force real 'rip off' merchants to bring their prices down? Oops! Did I say that out loud?
This brings me to packaging. My froth about packaging is such a pet hate with me. I would love to hit streets with a camera crew and see how many O.A.P's can get a Digital camcorder memory card out of its second skin before they croak or preferably just watch their wrinkly faces screw right up as I dust them occasionally.
These little suckers are only size of postage stamp but live in this plastic crib that will withstand a thousand megaton blast. The shell is moulded and in comparison to actual size of product is equivalent to an affixed playing card in middle of Old Trafford. Inside is a paper insert that has a splash of graphics promising you eternal life and a perpetual hard-on for your digital recorder.
It is a freestanding display that apart from its impregnability would be an ideal ice scraper for car windscreen when your own credit card has already expired. I used carpet scissors in end to chomp plastic edging away, slither by slither, until I found tiny card that was further cocooned inside another plastic sarcophagus. It's very own 'snap-to' and rigid wallet for easy carriage. To my horror I noticed I had extricated card without checking printed warning that 'should product be unsatisfactory' that it had to be returned intact.
How do you know it is unsatisfactory until you have tried it? It's a memory card for a video recorder? You have to try it out first by taking it out of package. I bet even memory card would have remembered this.
Supermarket shelves groan with weight of packaging when little of product actually exists.
Rashers of bacon sat looking without hope in welded envelopes. Biscuits have to be guillotined midway up packet to become liberated. Vacuum packed frozen goods with re-sealable 'fasteners' that refuse to clip together and end up slipping out and falling helplessly to freezer floor. Petit Pois, sweetcorn or pasta that you try to open top end and by some bizarre logic thus gives signal for arse end to burst apart with force of a megaton bomb.
Audio tapes! (I mention these as I'm 'normally bias' anyway….) The cellophane that hermetically seals your boxes of tapes in case they are exposed to too much oxygen and need tiniest forceps in world combined with your own teeth to remove.
'Shrunkwrapped' pizzas that look like an artefact found by 'Timeteam' with all cheese and already sparsely dressed toppings on one side only. That's right. I see you nodding! Leaving one, lonely, stray slice of pepperoni inhabiting bald hemisphere making your TV dinner looking like a pimple on a bears arse. You can only imagine that last Neapolitan left alone on shelf forces you to buy it because it was constructed by a food operative that presumably serves breakfast at home to his or her family with a tennis racket.
Sandwiches that are 'front end loaded' for display purposes fooling hungry buyer that chunky filling continues throughout entire breadth of bread. Not so. A sneaky lift of promising BLT reveals yawning expanses of nothingness, only if you can exhume it from plastic prison first without it exploding over your 'laptop'.
Whole marketing and design departments spend a sh*tload of cash trying to create most inappropriate packaging. Easter eggs for instance. Trees have to die to put a stupid piece of hollow chocolate into a coffin. What's wrong with a bit of bubblewrap? Who invented polystyrene quaver and giant shoulders of stuff protecting your new TV? At Christmas time my house is drifted inside to rafters in stuff. My garage becomes an arsonists' paradise until dustman comes, with reams of cardboard, flat and corrugated, and customary shower of polystyrene that after a light breeze can be found in every corner of every garden in my street for weeks to come. Chunks of stuff, that if strapped together, would probably melt polar icecaps and is chased, eaten and passed by small children and dogs (easily mistaken for those circular rice cakes but far tastier).
"Contents may settle".
What seems to be happening here, is manufacturer is too embarrassed to say 'size does matter' and want you to believe that 50% extra FREE is box size and nothing to do with what's inside. If you bought muesli that 'settled' does that mean you will be less disappointed at opening a half empty box? Does this apply to meanly filled yoghurt pots or boxes of fish that say "6 to 8" pieces? It's either 6 or 8? I don't like guessing games. If I go to my bank I don't want teller to say to me when I want a balance, "You've got either sixty quid left or a fiver."
How can anything plastic make some product or other more desirable? Hands up any one person who has ever bought wine from a plastic decanter? Ok, I admit to odd box of wine simply because your drinking levels can be hidden from party guests and what they cannot see will not hurt them until you collapse over their Tiramisu at dinner and try to blame it on 'time of month'.