Dear Shrink-Wrap,

It is so hard, in today’s instant-gratification society, to find a product that simply wants to do a job and do it well. At a time when people are demanding huge benefits without wanting to put in much effort (pop musicians and the like), it is so refreshing to find a product like you, Shrink-Wrap, that is so diligent in your task of making sure that the packaging of our media products is not damaged in transit. This is a fantastic service for all of us, for which we reward you by, tragically, throwing you away as soon as our new product arrives in the mail or is brought home from the store. Sadly, we normally don’t even bother to thank you.

However, Shrink-Wrap, I do have one complaint. Could it be that you are a little too into your job? You sometimes come across like a prison guard or perhaps even a medieval moat. While you may think of your job in terms of protection, sometimes it seems like you don’t want us to listen to our CD or watch our DVD at all. More often that not, you seem to put a lot of effort into keeping us from getting into our new purchase, what with your misleadingly creased corners that make us think we could pry you open with our fingernails and the like; in fact, our fingernails are no match for you—and you know it!

Why is it that you force us to resort to a penknife, a letter opener, a Swiss Army gadget, or some cordless tool found on one of those impossibly high shelves at Home Depot (the kind where someone with a forklift has to come along and help) simply to remove you? And who calls for a forklift when they need help, anyway? And why are you in cahoots with that devilish sticky thing that insidiously promises an easy removal if only we just “pull”? You know better than anyone, Shrink-Wrap, that pulling that sticky thing will only make matters worse. It’s easier to open your CD or DVD from the other, unstickered end and try to get your disc out that way than it is to try to deal with that sticky mama’s boy.

Shrink-Wrap, after we’ve paid upwards of $20, $30, or $40 for our new entertainment, all we’re asking is that you maybe lay off a bit and let us open our new treasure with impunity. After all, once you are removed, the responsibility to protect our new purchase falls to us. Sure, that CD may get scratched or that DVD might get lost in the couch, but once that media gem becomes ours, none of that is your concern any longer.

And, Shrink-Wrap, when we throw you away, it’s not because we think you didn’t do your job well. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Once you’re removed, we want you to take it easy, completely unencumbered, shapeless and tension-free, secure in the knowledge that you have accomplished exactly what we needed you to do—you got that merchandise from the manufacturer to the distributor to the store to our home, protected and, yes, maybe even loved.

So thank you, Shrink-Wrap. But could you maybe lighten up just a little?

Christopher Dazey
Portland, OR