Friday, 30 March 2007

We should have a choice, non?

Yesterday I discovered to my dismay that all the waste pipes in my kitchen and bathroom were completely blocked. No, but completely. I couldn’t run water in the sink, washbasin or bath for one second. In this wonderful flat of mine, all the water ends up in the same pipes. (What idiot devised this, back in the 1930s, that’s what I want to know.) I couldn’t understand how my pipes could go from totally clear to 100% clogged up in the space of one day – they were perfectly fine the day before, but I had to do something about it.

In my experience, the only thing that really works when this happens is Mr Muscle Sink & Plughole Unblocker (it’s also the safest, I believe, since it doesn’t harden in the drains). Off I went to my local Tesco to buy some of the stuff. They had a ‘3 for 2’ offer so I came back lugging three bottles of the miracle product (you can’t be too careful, can you?).

Then came the fun part: I got hold of one Mr Muscle and tried to unscrew its cap (no smutty jokes here, please). No could do. It was childproof. I pushed and turned and pushed harder and turned harder, in vain. OK, I had two more chances to succeed. I grabbed another bottle… Nope! Finally, the third Mr Muscle cap yielded to my will. Phew! I poured the gooey liquid through the plughole and let it do its business overnight.

Reader, it worked.

But, what I want to know (apart from who devised the drain system in my building, of course) is why we who are not children, we who do not have any children in our homes, we who can tell the difference between a bottle of Volvic and a bottle of hydrochloride what’s-it, why we have to buy these bottles with childproof caps? I’m little but I have extremely strong hands (ask anyone who’s had their back massaged by me, or, even better, ask Linda Pilkington, the owner of Ormonde Jayne: her hand is probably still smarting from being crushed in mine – I was trying to be friendly, LOL!) and what I can’t open... I was going to say, isn’t worth opening, well, no, but you know what I mean. I understand the need for childproof caps but why can’t we buy bottles, etc. with ordinary caps as well ? I think I know why but I’m asking anyway.

And what about older people with arthritis? (Actually I have a touch of it in my left hand at the moment, but I’m right-handed so it didn’t have a part in my inability to open those bottles.) What if you’re an arthritic person whose pipes are blocked or who wants to take some vitamins so they can live a little longer and bother everyone else with their special requirements, like ‘easy to open containers’? What about them, then?



  1. These have been my thoughts entirely for years! And what do health and safety think about me having stabbed right through my hand with a screwdriver trying to make a big hole in the top of an unopenable "safe" bottle of pills?

  2. I have been known to resort to slicing off the top of a bottle with a Stanley knife. Also not really very safe! They really need to test the caps on people of different abilities.

  3. S and L, I find most packaging overdone and positively 'dangerous'. Obviously, it's cheaper for manufacturers not to accommodate different requirements, but grrrr!


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