It’s a quiet time. Monday night. After a hectic week, then an even more hectic weekend, I find myself sitting on Christine, my favorite chair, watching television with the sound off, and just mellowing out. Soon, I will be watching ‘Game of Thrones’ with Alex, but right now….it’s just little old me. It’s a perfect moment, really. Perfect enough that I decide to indulge in a treat that I haven’t had in a long time….Kraft caramels.

Can you picture it? It’s almost like a Grandma Moses painting. Serene, classic, calming…a slice of Canadiana, even though Grandma Moses was American. You can almost see the Canadian flag in the background, a beaver standing proud and strong, a moose paddling by. I’m almost crying with this description. And then, the swearing starts.

‘What is he talking about?’, you ask? How could I be swearing during this picture-perfect moment? Well, it’s not the moose or the beaver or the flag. Christine is still soft and supple, so my chair is not the reason. It’s not the television. I am experiencing ‘wrap rage’, and I am discovering cuss words I never knew existed.

Wrap Rage is a term which has risen in prominence over the last 10 years or so. It has now surpassed Road Rage and middle-finger syndrome to become the number one cause of frustration. Wrap Rage, simply put, is the anger you begin to feel when trying to open something that has been mass-produced. The packaging itself, not the product, is what gets us going.

Take these caramels, for instance. After opening 5 or 6 of them, I was ready to kill. I’m not sure just what epoxy they are using to wrap these little devils, but it’s just not natural. And to make matters worse, all this manipulation of the little wrappers makes them statically charged, making them even harder to get them off your fingers after you have managed to get the bloody thing opened.

It used to be you could have these caramels opened in a rhythmic fashion….open two, pop one in your mouth, then, while chewing it, open two more. There was a natural cadence to the whole process. Now, you get one half-open, get excited, yank too hard, and that one goes flying across the room where my dogs are waiting expectantly. They are becoming experts at eating caramels now.

I bought a 3-pack of scissors once, and needed to borrow scissors to open the damned package! That was awkward and embarrassing. Then, I used these scissors to open a Christmas gift that was for Alex. That package required scissors, two different screwdrivers, some electrical cutters, and bandaids….lots of bandaids. And it took me 2 hours to get Alex to forgive me for swearing so much. I now just buy them gift cards.

The shrink packaging is the worst. It’s done with evil machines and form-fits the product. I deliberately do not buy these items anymore, but since it’s becoming so common, that is more and more difficult to do. In some ways, that’s been good, because fresh vegetables still aren’t wrapped this way, meaning I eat more of these and less caramels.

Yes….my name is Bill Gingras, and I suffer ‘wrap rage’.


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