Friday, December 16, 2011

The Unwrapping - Flash Fiction

I took a deep breath, and checked the master list against the pile once again.

1. 12 inch knife, newly sharpened
2. razor blade
3. bone shears from the kitchen knife block
4. knee protectors
5. bandages, including butterflies
6. safety goggles
7. heavy gloves
8. steel-toed boots

Everything seemed in order. I dressed slowly, carefully, trying to make sure that any tender spots of my body were protected from flying debris. Ready at last, I turned to the wall of expectant faces.

"All right then," I muttered, "who's first."

I tackled the first of many gifts: dolls and figures, manacled by wire and imprisoned in plastic strong enough to withstand a bunker-buster, and disassembled furniture in boxes strengthened by staples a foot long and bound by plastic straps which whistled by one's head when released. And except for the bruise on my posterior from slipping on the calling card of Gizmo the dog, I emerged triumphant and unscathed.

But maybe gift cards for the holidays isn't such a bad idea after all.

Wrap Rage:  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2008, an average of 6,000 people a year end up in the emergency department for packaging-related injuries. A poll of Pennsylvanians reported that about 17% had injured themselves opening gifts. Be safe this year - give blankets, socks and underwear.


  1. LOL... ah...and now I understand why they are starting to put packages with "easy" opening. From potential serial killer to put upon Mom wrapping presents. Fun piece Li.

  2. I can relate! And tech toys are the worst for plastic sealed so tight not even light can enter.

  3. Love it. Now with these sealed plastic packages even scissors can't penetrate. I know they supposedly sell a device that can open these things easily, but how do they package that?
    For a little moral support (and humor) I would suggest the song "Toy Packaging" by Sara Groves. "Never mind the dynamite" she says.

  4. @Stuart - well, this piece stems from a package I tried to open years ago. I ruined the toy, and then stepped on one of those stupid staples barefooted.

    @Jules - I like to lighten up once in a while :-)

    @Alex - T guess it's to discourage shoplifters - but they pretty much just steal the whole thing, case and all, so what's the point...

    @WENCDJ - oh, dynamite! *quickly adds to list*
    I'll see if I can find the song you mentioned.

  5. Haha! The master list made me think there was a gruesome and bloodthirsty monster about to be dealt with, but no, it turned out to be something far more hazardous. :)

  6. Yes, gift cards are good.

    The worst part is that it takes weeks or months to get rid of all the packaging, when it doesn't all fit the garbage- or recycling bin.

  7. I love it!!!! And oh so true! Great stats to add also. Hope you have a SAFE Holiday my friend.

  8. And this is if you managed to avoid getting trampled in the stores in the first place. Nice job of finding a different angle to the gift-giving process.

  9. After reading the master list, I braced myself for some serious action, complete with gore... LOL!

  10. LOL I was expecting gore! Funny piece. Made me laugh. I understand the whole easy packaging thing Amazon is pushing better now.

  11. good night the way they package some things these days is insane...all the rubber bands and zip ties....just when you think you are done...ack...another one

  12. Lol sorry, but I can't imagine what causes those injuries. ^_^

  13. I've finally figured out how to wrap a decent looking present. Ribbons and bows? I'll get back to you on that. :)

  14. @Steve - that's what i was going for!

    @Anke - agreed, the landfills are filled with tons of plastic packaging that will outlive humanity.

    @Rasz - thank you - you too. I'll be over to visit before Christmas :-)

    @Tim - Thank you. I tried to think of an "uncovered" holiday topic.

    @Mish - well, there might have been gore...

    @Story - oh, i didn't know about the Amazon thing. must see if they will buy the rights to this story for promotion!

    @Brian - and when it comes to food, you find that under all of that packaging is a tiny serving :-)

    @Misha - I know you've been there at some point...

    @David - I've always used the stick-on bows. actually, our family has been known to keep and re-use them!