/ Food & Drink, Shopping

Why can’t I open this pesky packet?!

Ever had that frustrating feeling when the delivery you’ve been excitedly waiting for turns up, but you can’t get into the packet? Or you’ve just bought a new shaver and the plastic casing is impermeable?

‘Ooh how exciting, my new video game has arrived! All wrapped up snugly in a bubble-wrapped envelope. Now to release it from its packet and pop it in my console…’

It was all going so well, but this vacuum-sealed plastic envelope had other ideas. I couldn’t open the damn thing with my hands, nor my teeth. It was impervious to my efforts as I tried to rip and bite at it.

Five minutes later, as I fell into a heap on the sofa after multiple expletives, I calmly looked a little closer at that packet. A packet containing a little video game box ordered online and shipped from Jersey, Guernsey or some other island. On the sticker was a description of the product and the words ‘may be opened officially’. May be opened officially? Well good luck to you officials, I’d like to see you try!

Without scissors to hand, this innocent little impenetrable pack was consigned to my drawer, unopened. There it remained for well over a week until I got so worked up that I took a kitchen knife to it. Finally, my video game was free.

The trials and tribulations of prising open packets

I’m sure this isn’t an experience limited to just me. I know scissors are quite a common and essential piece of kit for any household, but should you need to use anything other than your hands to get into the product you just bought? Using your teeth is bad enough.

One reader got in touch to say they had huge difficulties opening suppository packets. The reader added: ‘if you risk being poisoned and open one with your teeth, as an [elderly person] you are likely to lose or loosen the tooth.’

Sometimes it feels like these products are designed not to be opened. And maybe they are. That brings me to shaving razors – there’s been many a time where I’ve wedged my fingers into these razor packets, and the only thing I have had to show for it is a bloody cut from the plastic. Perhaps it’s difficult to open for a reason – so that shoppers don’t get hold of a razor blade with only their bare hands.

Still, I’m sure this phenomenon isn’t just relegated to potentially dangerous products – do you have any other examples of impossible to open packets? I’m just off to buy myself a pair of scissors, but how I’ll get them out of their packet is another question entirely…

bob says:
3 April 2015

Happy shopper nuts or generally cheap corner shop food products. Also most bags with the hole in the top of them for putting them on rails in shops as when you open them they hit that bit and tear any which way although i have found a way round it and i just turn it upside down and bingo haribo for everyone.