As my geezerhood advances, and my vision darkens, and my hearing declines, and my arthritis worsens, and my muscles weaken, and my aches and pains proliferate, and my patience seeps away, and my needs increase and my self-sufficiency to meet them evaporates, and my memory doesn't remember and my plumbing leaks, and things that were easy aren't, and much of what I learned is no longer relevant, and the new things whose use I have finally mastered are already obsolete . . . . .
When tying my shoes is an adventure and reaching the top shelf of the closet an acrobatic feat . . .
. . when my gait is slow but makes my heartbeat fast . . .
. . .when the wireless phone only rings if I've misplaced it, the car keys somehow wander off and come to rest in the refrigerator and the doorbell rings the moment I've stopped into the shower . . .
. . .
Then it is that I take special satisfaction in contemplating particular tortures in Hell for those who add still more difficulties to my daily struggles with living.
Foremost among those for whom I contemplate such terrible infinities are the makers of packaging.
We punish mass murderers, so why don 't we punish those fiendish monsters who cap bottles of essential medicines with caps that can only be opened by small, carefully placed explosive charges?
We have laws against child abuse, but why do we have none prohibiting the capping of jars of vital human viands with lids that can be opened only by very strong and very intelligent orangutans?
We require that road safety signs be readable, so why do we not require that those little tabs one is expected to grasp to peel back the film on the mustard cap be at least large enough to grasp with, say, needle-nose pliers?
Why, when the little note says "Tear Here," are they allowed to render the fabric so resistant to tearing that even an unshorn Samson would tear his hair out in frustration?
What about those containers -- made of seamless case-hardened steel -- that seem to say "Open Other Side" on all sides?
If you're over 60 or so, you'll know the things I'm talking about, things that break your fingernails, make you short of breath, slip out of your grip, can't be reached if you're not a contortionist, won't fit where they're supposed to fit, require that you "lift, press and tilt while turning" but still won't open, say "no tools required" but in fact require simultaneous use of a screwdriver (neither Phillips, nor slot, however, but some other exotic type), wrench (metric, of course), hammer (but not balpeen), coping saw and diamond-head glass cutter. And so forth ad nauseum.
If I were St. Peter, I would require every applicant for eternity in Paradise to submit documentation of his or her earthly occupation. For those who had any association whatsoever with the packaging industry, I would turn to Torquemada and say, "This one merits special attention. Put the CIA on the case."