No G’Damned Friggin’ Cereal Box Top Is Gonna Defeat ME!

Do you have trouble opening cereal boxes without tearing either the “Tab” flap or the “Slot” flap to shreds?  You know, when you’re instructed to “Place Tab in Slot After Opening?”  I mean I would be happy to “Place Tab in Slot” as those innocuous instructions instruct, but my “placing” efforts inevitably result in the “male” flap winding up sliced in two or the bottom “female” part rendered just as useless as a result of my “placing” machinations.   What gives here?  Is it just me?  Am I just some inept adult male who can’t successfully accomplish a simple task any more?  Are there support groups out there who deal with this problem?  Sure, I’m “getting along” in years (just “where,” I occasionally wonder, am I “getting along” TO?) but while not necessarily ranking up there in importance with the Israeli- Palestinian conflict or Ebola, this phenomenon irritates the hell outta me.

Even though large swaths of my past have disappeared into some black brain hole never to be seen again, I try to recall as a youngster if I had the same results when I opened that box of Cheerios or Kellogg’s Corn Flakes sitting on top of the fridge.  I do remember collecting said box-tops for that De-Coder Ring.  Were they messed up too?  I can’t say for sure – my Lumosity scores for memory are the lowest of the six categories they measure so it could be that.  Maybe it’s because my fingers were smaller, more slender, (more nimble?) but I don’t remember tearing the “Tab” or “Slot” flaps into useless shreds back than. So who knows.  What’s most discouraging, though, is when, at the start of the cereal box top opening ceremony, I slip my finger under the flap (as instructed), slide it ever so sweetly and gently between the two co-joined pieces (as instructed) and PRESTO! the fucker self-destructs!  What kind of glue do they use anyway? Some special “We Dare You To Mess With It” formulation of Krazy Glue developed by Kellogg’s R&D unit to permanently conjoin thin cardboard pieces like “til-death-do-us-part” marriages? Sheeesh!

Then, of course, after being totally defeated by the two thin pieces of cardboard with those innocent instructions for preserving the dignity of the cereal box top, comes the inner package opening ceremony.  You know, the inner sanctum that actually holds the treasured contents be they flakes, clumps, clusters or tiny worm rolls of compressed bran.  And here again:  What kind of fucking glue to they use to seal the damned thing?  Or is it a machine embedded with computer generated, multi-sealant, anti-hacking, codes that seals this innocent looking bag into a terrorist resistant barrier?  And it’s not as if experience hasn’t taught me to be wary of this stage of the process.  

So, I start by gently gripping each side of the waxy bag, squeezing my thumbs and forefingers together and applying what I think to be sufficient, but still light, pressure to crack the seal.  But, NO!  Nada!  Damned sinister bag doesn’t crack a millimeter.  So like every other humanoid on the planet what do I do?  Re-position my fingers (maybe I was too close to the top; too far away?), carefully adjusting the pressure up half-a-notch - calculated to succeed in rending the seal but not so much to endanger the virginity of the wax bag below  - I patiently try again.  Second time?  No dice.  Even with the increased pressure and repositioning (I mean it sounds like I’m aiming a mortar at some terrorist hideout, doesn’t it?)  the bag remains firmly unmolested.  As pristine as it was when it first emerged from a giant wax-bag-sealing-machine along with its thousands of equally pristine sister and brother boxes.  Third time with the repositioning and increasing pressure technique.  FAIL!  TOTAL, UNYIELDING, RESISTANCE!  So, of course, by now I am furious that this stupid, cock-sucking piece of impenetrable waxed paper construction has pretty much defeated me.  And, being of the male variety of human beings, you know what comes next since by now I’m envisioning myself engaged in a Darth Vader-Luke Skywalker style battle to the death in order to save the entire human race.  (Well, not the Tea Party folks.)  “FUCK IT!” I shout to the recalcitrant bag of processed grain: “You Ain’t Gonna Win, Innocent Looking Piece of Shit Bastard That You Are!”   Now I’m bringing all my combat skills and manly masculine strengths to bear on the problem with – you could have guessed this - typically manly masculine results: ARMAGEDDON!  Yeah! Now I’ve got flakes of corn and compressed worms of bran exploding like some 4th of July fireworks rocket out the bag, over my face, landing on the West Elm kitchen table to my right and, naturally, all over the dammed floor I just Swiffered the day before.  Which, to my way of thinking, is good because then at least the corn flakes won’t go to waste!  So there you have it.  Damn life is hard! 

I don’t know.  Am I whining?  Is this some sort of folly unique to me?  Am I so inept that I can’t even open a box of cereal properly?  All right.  All right.  I guess like my short-term memory farts, it’s just the price of reaching my “mature years.”  Yeah that’s it. After all, it has to be old age, otherwise why wouldn’t I just reach behind me and remove the scissors that rest inside the kitchen drawer long before I even reach for the box sitting calmly on top of the fridge?  

And there you have it: My philosophical treatise on Manly Masculinity brought to bear on one of life’s more insoluble of conundrums.  (Or is it “conundra”?)  

Have a good day.  Just be careful tomorrow morning if you have an unopened box of Corn Flakes fresh from the grocery store that you need to access.  


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