Monday, December 06, 2010

More unfathomably bad Chinese design

I found some plastic bottles of fruit juice taped together for a two-for-one special deal when I went into my local supermarket last week.  I suspected that they were close to or beyond their expiry date, but I wasn't too concerned about that.  And it's a brand I've tried before, found to be fairly good (as far as the local products go, which - in the field of fruit juices and soft drinks - is, unfortunately, very faint praise indeed).  So, I bought two of the double-packs.... and set off home to discover what was wrong with them.

Answer: the caps.  THEY WOULD NOT OPEN. No, not just a case of them being a bit stiff; or of needing to slit the ties to the anti-tamper seal with a knife (tried that - to no avail).  No, these sons-of-bitches were somehow fused solid to the bottle tops.  I gouged a groove in the palm of hand trying to twist the buggers off.  I tried pouring hot water over them - no help.  I couldn't even budge them taking a secure grip with a pair of pliers.  Rock solid.

Remarkable, really.  I have no idea how they achieved this.

I had to stab a hole through the top of the cap with a screwdriver.

(And then the orange juice wasn't very nice: altogether more sugar and articial colourings and minimal involvement of actual fruit than I thought I remembered from my previous experiences of the brand.  Oh well.)


JES said...

Haha -- you'll probably be tempted to delete "Hosting's" comment as obvious spam (I certainly would be), but it seems weirdly relevant. Because, y'know, most people who find it hard to open a plastic bottle, even injuring themselves in the process (with a screwdriver!) -- most such people will just not spend the time to tell us about it.

That's practically a commentary on blogging in general right there.

I wonder what the marketing value of such a sentiment might be for someone selling Web-hosting services? "Don't bother contacting us unless you're really serious about helping people"?

Anyway, to your real point: I hate difficult packaging, accidental or otherwise. The accidental sort at least has a certain charm (however frustrating!), after you've dealt with the deliberately infernal clear-plastic-shell packaging that wraps so much stuff on the shelves. Classic case of making 99% of everyone's life difficult in order to specifically frustrate the 1% who "threaten" your company somehow.

Froog said...

Hmm, WEIRD. I have a couple of comments on this in my e-mail Inbox, but.... they haven't showed up on the site yet. WTF?

Anonymous said...

Do you know what I find most amusing about this post? And in a good way, I suppose. I would never have taken you to be a gambler from the little bit I've read here, but this post shows a side to you that likes to take the gamble. You knew there was something awry with the drinks, but the risk was worth taking for a "2-fer" deal.

And then for the caps to be fused...CLASSIC. The imagery of less, try harder...I don't know what specifically about this tickles me to no end, but it does.

Froog said...

I like to say, I don't gamble, I invest.

I am resistant - not immune, but resistant - to the thrill of uncertainty, and I certainly take no pleasure in losing money; but I do like the mental challenge of examining a situation, trying to reach an understanding of it, and trying to predict the likeliest outcome. And then, occasionally, backing my prediction with a small wager.

I love backgammon, like poker (wish I was better at it), rarely go near the horses.

Glad you enjoyed this, CW.

Anonymous said...

Invest, Shmest! That's just a circumspect way to spell G-A-M-B-L-E. But gamble sounds so callow whereas invest sounds much more mature. <--- can you tell I am poking fun? If not, let me be plain: "I am poking fun!"

In the tiny corner of your blog I've read, you have this careful and detailed way of describing your world. And when I say "careful" I don't mean cautious so much as deliberate. So your resistance to "the thrill of uncertainty" is not surprising. That is precisely why I like this post so much. You invested and that speculative behavior cost you a lot of effort though not much money.

Froog, did you drink all the bottles of orange juice?