Saturday, January 10, 2009


The box tops

I like Bill Maher’s “New Rules” segment, in which he talks briefly about a few things he would change, annoyances he would eradicate, if he could. Think of it as a less whiny version of Andy Rooney. It serves a purpose: we all need to vent about stupid things that annoy us.

So here’s mine for today.

New rule: box lids must either be square, or be sufficiently non-square that there is no question about their correct orientation.


I have this box of chocolates. Its lid measures 180 mm × 185 mm (yes, I’ve just measured it). That 2.7%-ish difference isn’t enough to notice when I look at it, so each time I have to close the box I have about a 50-50 chance of getting the orientation right.

OK, it’s a small thing, I grant. But I can’t just leave the lid off: the chocolates would get cat hair all over them. How bad would it have been for them to make the thing 5 mm (less than two tenths of an inch!) wider?

Well, there are were only 16 chocolates in the box. I guess I’ll just have to eat them, and the problem will soon go away.


Ray said...

Ah... the end user experience. But the slightly mismatched box dimensions pale into insignificance when compared with the obscene waste that passes for all types of packaging these days.

The ones that annoy me by far the most are those items that are encased in a welded plastic case which you can open only with a pair of industrial-strength scissors, leaving you with pieces of tough, pointed plastic you could use as lethal weapons. Insane.

Dr. Momentum said...

The correct procedure is to open the box, eat all the chocolates, then discard the box.

It is a case of user error.


Barry Leiba said...

Of course: an open-only box; it's not designed to be closed again once it's been opened. I should have understood that from the start.

I guess, then, it's related to the packaging that Ray describes, except opening it doesn't provide cheap sidearms for street gangs as a by-product.

Michelle said...

You could always shave the cats. Problem solved :)

scouter573 said...

I always buy chocolates in boxes with the proportions of phi and with a pyramid on top. Keeps the chocolates fresher, doncha know.