Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adventures in Packaging

A few packages have made me go "WTF?" lately and so I thought I'd share them with you, gentle blog reader. First up, Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets:


I was in the grocery store the other day, looking for some delicious and proteinaceous foodstuffs and as I was checking out which of the Yves Veggie pretend-meat items were on sale, I noticed a package of spinach nuggets that looked tasty. I started reading the packaging, as is the habit of the nutritional scientist (how many calories? how many grams of protein? are there any trans fat? for the love of all that is good in the world, tell me if there are any trans fats!!!) and saw a picture of the new - and, in my humble opinion, infuriating1 - American Food Pyramid. Being that I'm in Canada, I found this a little strange - shouldn't it have Canada's Food Guide on there? And then I read what was written next to it - it actually does talk about Canada's Food Guide there. But that's not a picture of Canada's Food Guide!!! Canada's Food Guide is a RAINBOW, people, a RAINBOW! What is up with that???

Next up, Reversaflex tabs.

In the cupboard where the stationery items live in in my office, there was a box of those clear plastic tabs you use to label hanging file folders... you know, like this kind of thing:




Photo courtesy of some random on Flickr.

In one of my "I'm going to be organized" moments, I decided to use them file away some of my papers in an orderly fashion2. I just printed up labels and stuck them on the tabs, but check out how the instructions suggest you deal with them:


A *typewriter*? Are you serious?? Or a *tapewriter*?? Do you remember those things? My parents had one and I thought it was sooo cool. Like when I was 5 years old. Sure, I found these in a supply cupboard and do not know how long they've been there so, in theory, they could have been produced in 1981, but I should point out that my program has only been in existence for like 4 years. And the organization in which my program is based for like 10. So really, they can't be older than that3. And I'm pretty sure that typewriters and tapewriters were not prevalent in 1997.

And now, my favourite of the packages that made me go "WTF" this week. This one is from a lipgloss that my mom sent to me:


Hook up lip color? My *mom* sent me something called hook up lip color?? I can only conclude that she either did not read the packaging or she does not know what "hook up" means. Seeing as this is a woman who referred to S&M as M&M, I'm betting on the latter.


1infuriating because pretty much the only thing that people understood about the US Food Pyramid was that it's big on the bottom and small on the top... so the groups on the bottom (Grains, Veggies & Fruits) are what you should have more of and the ones on the top (Meat, Milk, Oils) are what you should have less of. People couldn't get their heads around portion sizes or figure out the specific numbers of servings from each group they should be getting or pretty much anything else about the damn thing, but at least they knew that you should eat more Veggies & Fruits than Meat. But in this latest incarnation of the Food Pyramid (as seen on the package above), they changed it so that the food groups run vertically instead of horizontally, with the (barely discernable differences in the) width of the groups representing which (unlabeled) groups you should have more of and which you should have less of. And the fact that the groups are each wider at the bottom means that some (unspecified) types of, say, Meats & Alternatives are better than other (also unspecified on the Pyramid) groups. And somehow you are supposed to get that from the unlabeled, different coloured slices in the Pyramid. Like I said, infuriating!
/rant

2As opposed to my usual method of throwing papers haphazardly on any available table, counter top or deskspace.

3unless, I suppose, they were somehow inherited from another organization, but that's a pretty unlikely possibility

6 comments:

Darren said...

Truly, as a former technical writer who is cursed to notice bizarre things like this for the rest of my days, I applaud your geeky thoroughness. Or your thorough geekiness.

In any case, you may enjoy www.thisisbroken.com or my own, old project, www.darrenbarefoot.com/hall/. Speaking of which, can I include that nutty label page?

Rebecca said...

I'm curious - what does "hook up" look like?

Beth said...

Darren - Yes, please feel free to use that nutty label page in your hall!

Rebecca - you mean the colour of it? or the lipgloss itself? 'cuz I can post a photo of either if you like (I'm assuming you don't mean "what does an actual hook up look like?" ;) ... 'cuz I'm not posting a photo of that!

Rebecca said...

No no, I meant the colour of the lip gloss - I'm reasonably certain I can conjure up an image of what a "hook up" looks like :)

donut hut slut said...

giggles... your mom... the lip gloss... hee hee

Beth said...

Rebecca - I'll get a photo of the colour and get it up here for ya.

DHS - Ya, it's *especially* funny if you actually know my mom, isn't it?