Simple Daily Challenges

This blog will be a quickie as well as an admission of ineptitude, perhaps. In the grocery store the other day, I picked up a new bottle of hand soap. Nothing unusual about that; it’s the liquid version with a small squirt pump thingie on the top. I got the store brand as it was thirty cents less expensive, perhaps to compensate for spending several bucks on something else, something not needed at all. At any rate, the next day the regular “brand name” liquid soap finally gave out – I had timed the new purchase well. Here’s a photo of the new little goodie.



It looks harmless in this photo, all set and ready to use. And now it is. However in order to get the “pour spout” to work, to function, I had to figure out how to get the plastic apparatus to free itself from a nested position. After four or five minutes of routine pushing, pulling, turning and twisting, it dawned on me that nothing I could do with my fingers was going to break the system loose. So I resorted to my tool set in the garage and snuck up on the little bottle with a pair of pliers. Those, with a good grip from its metal teeth did the trick and suddenly the top just popped up and out of its storage position. Voila! A few pushes to prime it and we had ourselves a nice new plastic container of hand soap.


Aha! Now I felt like a mechanical wizard. Perhaps the financial discount was in part to compensate the buyer for going through the mental process of getting the thing open. Dunno!


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J.K. (Jim) George


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7 Responses

  1. Jim, Been there, done that! Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one. 73, Dave K1ZZ
  2. This sounds a lot like those "childproof" bottles. They are also "senior" proof. Some days I can't press down hard enough to get the top off (arthritis), so I have to figure another way. I've tried pliers and screwdrivers, but usually just wind up gouging my hand or fingers somewhere. So, on a day when I get the top off, I either leave it off or transfer whatever was in side to another bottle. Good thing I don't have any kids in the house! D
  3. I have read that Frank Lloyd Wright designed a hotel in Japan. Running across the width of the lobby was a tiny step, less than an inch high. It is said that he used to sit in the lobby just to watch people trip as they went up and down his step. My guess is that designers of soap dispensers do that on purpose, just to see how long it takes us to get them open. They work with the guys who encase small products in a bubble of plastic that is stronger than steel. You can see it, but you can't get to it.
  4. Jim, Over my life time I've found that packaging in general has become far more "anti-open" than in the past and the entire space has become progressively worse. It seems that nothing can be opened with a simple pair of hands anymore. Scissors, pliers, screw drivers, etc... are now "must haves" in the world of opening things. I'm happy for your success and it seems that a successful opening is cause for celebration these days and is indeed a notable experience. Regards, Mike
  5. JK James George
    From Anon-1: I had the same experience a while back with a bottle my wife brought home (smiley face).
  6. JK James George
    From Anon-2: Applause to you for your tenacity. I have thrown away similar items after unsuccessfully using virtually everything except a chain saw to open. Glad to know you are well & still writing Jim.
  7. JK James George
    From Anon-3: A good one, but you missed an opportunity to take advantage of the possible pun towards Dawn soap, Dawn(ed) ... “it dawned on me that nothing I could do with my fingers was going to break the system loose. ”

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