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Breaking through

     It was silver and perfectly round—as round as a full moon. Its flat surface looked up at me with a mischievous grin. Oops—sorry. I got carried away there. No mischievous grin. I must've been imagining that.

     I'd seen this silver foil, firmly clinging to an orange cylindrical container, many a time, but I'd never been able to penetrate its surface without resorting to marauding the silverware drawer and withdrawing the steak knife with the sharpest point. Today would be different. Today I would slash that silver surface without resorting to my trusty steak knife.

     After all, I had in my hand a perfectly capable plastic measuring spoon—the tablespoon I use to ladle out the prescribed quantity of sand-like granules residing within the bright orange cylindrical tube so firmly attached to the silver foil, the foil whose purpose it is to protect the tube's contents from outside evil forces—primarily humans—needing fiber who would deplete it spoonful by spoonful until it was reduced to a few elusive remnants hiding at the bottom, only to be shaken into the trash can and carted off to the dump on a dark and dreary Friday. Truly a life no-one would envy.

     The foil dared me. Go ahead. Slam that plastic spoon handle onto my taut surface. Won't do you any good.

     Not one to be deterred by a circle of foil stuck to the rim of a Metamucil jar, I raised the measuring spoon high in the air and positioned the short blunt end of its handle, ready to pounce. Who needs a knife? With my super-human strength and the force of the light plastic handle, we would break that son-of-a-gun and reap the rewards of entry into the grainy world of sand-colored, orange-flavored—with real sugar!—fiber-giving Metamucil.

     Pounce! Pounce! The spoon bounced off the foil jumping three feet into the air. Well, I'll just do it harder. I can do it. Pounce! Pounce! Pounce! The foil held fast. The spoon bounced. One more time. This time would do it. Surely I'd broken its spirit by now. I could tell by looking, it was ready to cave. Pounce! Pounce! Cra-a-a-ck. Victory! Spoon and human win over foil covering! Yay!

     Upon closer look, the foil stared silently at me. Not a crack to be seen. Not even a dent. I turned to reprove the spoon for its failure to penetrate when I noticed a small crack on the spoon's handle where I'd banged it against the foil. So that's what made the sharp crack.

     As I mourned the injury to my loyal measuring spoon, I wondered what now would deliver the precious measured grains of Metamucil to be mixed with water each bright and sunny morning. The spoon had stood by me for yay, these many years, as I prepared Paul's daily Metamucil. How could I have betrayed its trust? Although. . . could the spoon be salvaged? It was only a tiny crack. It was only on one side. So with abject apologies, I set it aside and drew open the silverware drawer to retrieve the steak knife with the sharpest point.

     Here I come, silver foil! I'll get you this time! And I did. I mean, the knife did. As I peeled away the silver foil from the rim of the orange container, I reflected on the wizards of packaging who do all in their power to keep us from getting inside the products we've bought and paid good money for. I came to this conclusion:

     I don't like them.

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