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Published April 28, 2012

 

I'm just going to say it.

I wish to make a complaint.

Here it is:

Chinese takeout restaurants have been grossly encroaching on the safety standards of modern-American takeout procedure that had been in place for over 50 years. It's been such a slow and often seamless overstepping of food safety that a communist takeover of this country seems more and more likely.

Think about ordering take-out as a youngster, even say, 10 years ago. You had the same brown paper bag, the same tin, paper box, or styrofoam container, a few napkins, and the timeless fortune cookie.

Fast-forward to modern day. Now try picturing the placid landscape of exotic fried food from the orient as it is when it arrives at your doorstep. At first it will seem normal, but now try simply opening the bag. The sweet, tender yield of a paper bag is supplanted with the resistance of atleast 3 staples on the opening of the bag.

Staples, commonly an office fixture for holding together documents that should seldom be pulled apart, are in no way at fault. They are a good office utensil. They are more permanent than a paperclip, and less permanent than adhesive, they are the best of both of the worlds, and should be lauded for that.

But chinese food take out places have irresponsibly, and possibly with malice, taken the virtue of the staple and placed it within the take out food realm. This is bad, and the reasons are as follows:

1. The use of staples violates the criteria required of a take out carrier container. Take out carrier containers require two criteria:

a.) The take out container must be able to adeptly hold the item.

b.) The take out container must have a clever device to which a human hand, and not a jostle of the container, is able to open.

An example of the "clever device" known as the tuck-under flap on paper box packaging.

The difference between the "device" I have described and the ability to "hold," or the two criteria I just mentioned are radically      different, something that Chinese take out packaging procedure has ignored. One involves the intelligence of a human being, the other is the product of engineering. You see, the "clever device" is the part that is to be impenetrable to the wear and tear that occurs in transportation. It is "clever" because it is not activated by pure force, but by the willful employment of human intelligence. Examlples of "clever devices" are the tuck-under flap on styrofoam containers, the fold-over-the-sides margin on tin packaging, and the variation of the tuck-under flap on the paper box packaging. All ably do their duty. All are impenetrable to normal wear and tear but can be activated by a human readily. The use of staples clearly violates this construct. By attempting to use staples as a bit of added security to their already stellar packaging, the chinese food take out restaurant has thus impeded one essential element of the takeout container in lieu of the added support relevant in the "holding" element.

This creates a problem. Staples are not for the human hand. Yes, you could argue that staples do fit the characteristic of the "clever device" element I described earlier, since we humans are aware of how to pull them out. BUT the "clever device" element is not composed only of simple human intelligence, but human intelligence and ability. And human beings have not the dexterity nor the derma-strength to take out one of these bitches manually, and no one, should ever, under any circumstances, readily have a staple remover. Thus, the  bag becomes such a painful and tedious process that you end up tearing the bag and risk puncturing skin in the process.

2. Isn't the idea to keep small pieces of metal AWAY from food? I mean, c'mon Chinese food, you already have a pretty miserable reputation on proper food preparedness/food composition that you can't be taking risks with thin pieces of metal. The reputation, by the way, is no longer a reputation, but firmly a part of American lore.

That is all.

Please take note. Keep calm and carry on, and other phrases.

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