Monday, June 09, 2008

The Tabs of Saran

Amidst the usual offers of replica watches, hot stock tips, cheap generic drugs, male enhancement guarantees, and warnings that Barack Obama is a scary black Muslim who hates America, I received something by email the other day that was both useful and true. It warms my heart to know that email has not entirely lost its usefulness yet, and that a needle of truth is still to be found in the haystack of daily spam.

Also, pleasantly, it was from my Mom, who views email the way a lot of people from her generation view it – as a way to forward:

1) heartwarming stories of love and faith

2) pictures of kittens doing adorable things

3) urban legends that warn about some common household product that has killed thousands of people
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy hearing from my mom via inspirational stories. It makes me feel connected to her in a way that arguing about politics somehow doesn't.

Also, my brother the shameless librarian has complained to her so often about forwarding urban legends that she now checks before sending them out, and as a result, it’s been a few years since any urban legends have made it past the new filter.

Anyway, last week she sent this, which when translated from no-nonsense housewife speak, says this:

Your aluminum foil boxes contain tabs at the end of the box. If you push them in, it keeps the roll from coming out every stinkin' time you use it.

I had no idea. Just today, I tried it for the first time on a box of Saran Wrap. The clouds parted, the heavens opened up, and the plastic wrap stayed in the box. It was like some kind of space-age miracle of modern technology.

I’m sure this would make a great metaphor for something. It’s something that was always there, and available as a tool to avoid frustration, and I was always blind to it. Hmmm. I guess if I knew what it related to in my life, I wouldn’t be blind to it anymore.
I’ll have to keep this in store for some future revelation, and hope that my friends aren’t too cruel in their suggestions about which blindspots I might want to start seeing.


brownie said...

I think it's a metaphor for today's politics. People want their representatives to serve them (the wrap itself) and begin to tug them so hard that they come loose from their moral upbringing (the box) and become corrupt, and ultimately, a pain in the ass to the ones who wanted to use them in the first place. The tabs are the strong moral underpinnings that keep a politician grounded and stilll useful and uncorrupted.

But like politics, so few know about the tabs, that 99% of the politicians are corrupt and useless.

I just made that up, by the way. I should be a writer too.

Dan S said...

That would make the tabs the Constitution, something most people don't know much about, and aren't very interesting in using.

I like it...

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

hmm, no deep philosophical musings here, just wow, I didn't know those tabs were there. So now my aluminum foil won't come out of the box, but hmmm, my french cellophane wrap doesn't have the tabs. probably could extend your metaphor somehow....

Fingtree said...

We were the tabs for the French, saving them from the Nazi wrap.
Can you believe they didn't want to be in our "coalition of the billing" with our Nazi occupation of Iraq? Oh the arrogance~

Dan S said...

Maybe the French just aren't so careful about their protective wrappings.

...not that I would know about any such thing...