Thursday, April 9, 2015

Seal Training: I Quit!

You know those tamper-proof seals they put on condiment bottles? I'm referring to the nasty little "peel-and-toss" kind which promise that you'll be chowing down on that sour dough-and-pepperoni masterpiece you slammed together the other day during a commercial break.

Those seals are, in a word, evil.

Let me qualify that. Those things are designed, apparently by someone working in the psyops division of the National Security Agency, to test the approximate elapsed time necessary to reduce a normally sane person into a raging lunatic.

Now, I'm all for keeping our food products as safe as they can be. I also understand the potential liability issues associated with such tamper-proof seals. And, I understand that if they're so tamper-proof that the consumer can't remove them, then the whole point of squirting that fancy Chez Snitty Poupon-And-Fescue mustard on your delicately-toasted bread becomes moot.

Take Monday. Amidst the balancing act of timing toasting some bread, microwaving a small portion of spaghetti, and pouring a glass of apple juice, I had several minutes' worth of time to peel and remove the seal.

Didn't happen.

What did happen is that, for the first minute or two, I struggled to remove the seal. The bottling company's accounting firm must have been in a generous mood, given that they apparently approved forty dollars' worth of glue to be spent on keeping my condiment of choice from being breached by anything less than trained professionals from MI6. As I was in the process of removing the seal, the clear plastic part finally gave, however grudgingly. The heavily-foiled underlay part of it, however, remained in what can only be described as a condiment bottle's equivalent of a Super Maxx prison during lockdown.

The toast popped up, issuing its wonderful come-hither aroma while I began issuing a very rude litany of words which I won't repeat here. (You're welcome.) And, while that was happening, the microwave began beeping its desire for my attention even as I knocked over my glass of juice which flowed all over the kitchen counter amidst my struggle with the seal.

The remainder of the seal, however, remained the one constant in what was quickly becoming in the kitchen what the Broncos became in their Super Bowl quest against the Seahawks the other year. It became all-out pandemonium as I tried stabbing the seal in a vain attempt to puncture it, bending the tip of the knife blade instead. People don't normally engage in hand to hand combat with mustard bottles where I come from, by the way.

In a valiant, if desperate act, it occurred to me that the only way I'd ever be able to enjoy my mustard would be to cut the top of the bottle off using a hobby knife, and dumping the contents into a plastic food container.

It worked. Out of sheer determination I had achieved victory. Never have I made a sandwich which tasted so good. I could simply have settled for just the spaghetti and apple juice, but I was in a mood for a sandwich on the side as well. And let me say this: when I want a sandwich, a sandwich I shall have. One wouldn't have needed a background in forensics to determine the cause and effects of events in my kitchen that afternoon. Even so, I did calm down and enjoy what was a very satisfying meal.

If I call the bottling company to share my experience, that might lead to another column. It might also lead to a quick trip to a mental hospital if I have to relive the experience again.

As for these condiment seals, I quit. From now on I'll eat my sandwiches plain.

It certainly wasn't a flavorful experience.


No comments:

Post a Comment