If ever there was a product that needed to be easy to open it has to be spectacle cleaners. You would also think that the makers of these would be highly aware that without their glasses, 50% of the elderly can’t see clearly enough to fiddle with opening packaging, nor can they read small print.
I am beginning to think that product designers must all be young people with 20/20 vision and a perverse interest in puzzles and guessing games.
Out in my car in Northampton, I noticed fog had slowly descended – strange on a sunny autumn day? I suppose it could be the windscreen misting up but I couldn’t see the demist switch on the 747 cockpit of dials on the dashboard in front of me. Finally, it dawns on me it just might be that my glasses need cleaning!
A quick rub over with my hankie only succeeds in making the lenses look like they have been smothered in Vaseline. As a former boy scout I have to confess that the years of being told to “be prepared” made little impact on me.
My wife and all other ladies who wear glasses would undoubtedly have been able to reach down into the bottomless pit of her handbag and just like Paul Daniels, magically from nowhere be able to pull out a lens cleaner. Where are wives when you need them!
With the luck of the devil I catch a glimpse through the mist outside of a “Boots” sign. A quick U-turn – there is a sound of sharp breaking behind me but I didn’t see anything in my mirror.
Rescue at hand I go into the shop which like all big chemists has at least fifty similar products for every possible medical condition. Dry eyes, sore eyes, sticky eyes, —I suppose I should be pleased I am in the right part of the body. I could have spent hours peering at pile creams! Now I have narrowed my choice down to the last fifty spectacle cleaners. Handy plastic bags, big economy boxes, individual wipes, sprays, own brands, two for one offers. I can’t see to read any of them so I settle for the first thing I come to – “wipe and shine – spectacle wipes”.
Back in the car all I have to do now is open the packet. It should be simple enough but obviously it did not occur to the package designers of these “spectacle wipes” that you might not be able to see too well without your glasses. After a fair amount of pulling and tugging on the plastic I finally give up and bite the corner off the packet – good job I’ve still got my own teeth! They should make strawberry flavoured wipes in future – these don’t taste too good, in fact I think I’ve just they have just spoiled my appetite for lunch.
The good news for Carr Day and Martin, who make this product, is that when you can finally get at them, the wipes are O.K. Or at least the first one is,only now I can see I bought a packet of 20. Unfortunately, the remaining unused 19 will probably dry out now that I’ve torn the re-sealable pack apart. What’s more, even though my glasses are now clean, I can barely see the small print instructions on the back of the packet. I certainly can’t understand the diagrams and only with a magnifying glass when I get home, can I eventually see the tiny tab that has written on it:-
“ LIFT HERE TO OPEN”!