File this under signs of the end times–personal and societal.
The grown man in question is me. I had a simple desire–to wash my hands. I had purchased a new bottle with the handy push pump top and even got it on sale, which made me feel even better about personal hygiene.
I spun the top of the pump counter-clockwise, but it wouldn’t pop up. Still, I pushed on it, hoping against hope, that something would come out. I did this several times. Finally, I just twisted off the entire top and spread some soap from the straw-deal on my hand.
Opening the entire bottle to get a small bit of liquid soap was unsatisfying and messy. I had to get this thing open. It would not beat me. Sure, I’ve given up even trying to open most packaging without a machete and a pocketful of small explosives. The little seals on my breakfast drink now require me to use a flashlight, needle nose pliers, and an air compressor to open. Perforation technology isn’t what it used to be.
But I couldn’t be beaten by soap.
Back to the bathroom sink I went, filled with enthusiasm and positive thought. I twisted. I turned. I worked that thing in every direction. If it had an auger at the bottom of it, I would have struck oil. At least mud.
Nothing worked. Intimidation failed. Sweet talk failed. It didn’t even wince when I brought up an oil filter wrench and a Bible. It just sat there all soapy and clean looking, mocking me.
Then I decided that I had to do what every frustrated American must do–turned to YouTube. To my surprise, there were several videos available that explained how to open these things. I no longer felt alone. I felt lame, but not alone.
All it took was a simple turn to the left while really holding tightly onto the neck of the thing. Open. Clean hands. All is good.
I walked away from that bathroom feeling like I just slayed a dragon.
My feelings of accomplishment shifted to a brief period of anger at soap manufacturers. Almost everything I buy includes unnecessary instruction and warning–except the soap! As that passed I was left with the sadness of need and a creeping uneasiness that signals that maybe the world has left me behind or worse–made me dependent upon its modern marvels.