Dear Dave

Friday 11 May 2007

Bubblewrap attack!

Dear Dave,

Help! I'm trapped in my kitchen.

I ordered six hula-hoops over the internet from a major high street retailer and now I'm in trouble. I should have been warned when these guys previously bubble-wrapped cottonwool but this time they've gone insane. Each hula-hoop arrived in a separate box. According to the labels, each box was originally the packaging for TWO TRAMPOLINES. Any of the boxes on its own could have easily housed all six hoops. But no. All six boxes were stuffed full of padding with a single ring of plastic encased in the centre.

This level of packaging would have seemed excessive if I lived in the desert and the things were being shoved out of the back of a low-flying plane. Considering they turned up by courier van, my mind boggles. What were they thinking? If there's a fire, I'm toast - my escape route is blocked by a mountain of cardboard and bubblewrap. It's not even the fun, poppable bubblewrap; it's like rolls of armbands.

It's just crazy... Or maybe I'm missing something, maybe it's a free game! Let's see, what have I got:

  • A near endless supply of identical enemies to hack at and deflate.
  • Half a dozen larger foes requiring disassembly.
  • A tedious block puzzle consisting of trying to sort and squeeze the folded remains into the appropriate waste receptacles.
  • A hidden exit which can only be revealed by collecting up a whole load of useless tat.

Heck, throw in some dull cut-scenes and I could be playing Primal. Forget about the potential fun contained in the hoops and it would be Starfox Adventures...

Of course, the really crazy thing is that someone somewhere thinks they've done me a favour here. They probably have a warm glow about the care and attention they've shown my purchases. It's the same kind of misplaced zeal that makes computer game designers add value-for-money by forcing us to return to past levels and complete them in the opposite direction while wearing a different coloured hat. It's the same unfortunate delusion which means DVDs are infested with interactive menus, scenes that were deleted because they were rubbish and lengthy documentaries explaining why Tom Cruise is such a great guy. Wake up people! Less really can be more (especially if it's cheaper and/or doesn't create a fire hazard in my hallway).

I shouldn't get too judgmental, however. I'm not immune to the madness. Our house is stuffed full of educational toys and games, and I'm beginning to suspect that they're cancelling each other out. There's a tub of toys in the lounge that Marie hasn't really looked in since January. It's just sitting in a corner, taking up space. Any one of those toys left in the same location on its own would probably get played with but the current jumble of colours and shapes is simply too easy to ignore. Truth be told, if I tipped the entire contents out the window and left just the tub in the middle of the room, the kids would play with it all afternoon.

In fact, I'll go do that just now. Less stimulation might truly be more...

My kitchen door blocked by a mountain of packaging.

Er, still trapped... Help?

Yours in a woman's world,


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