Sunday, 29 July 2012

Criminal Mayonnaise Packaging (1)

I’m surely telling you nothing new, dear reader, when I say that we in the 21st century are living in a decadent age. Far too many people have far more money than they know what to do with. And they have far too little sense to dedicate their time, energy and wealth to simple, honest, useful activities. Add to this brew our sharkish commercialism and the hysterical adulation of celebrities, and no wonder that our societies simply drown in vanity, idiocies, waste, career plans and the pursuit of tattoos on every available body part.

Ah, the Romans could have told you this little truth: only a good war from time to time will return the collective soul of any nation to a more sensible attitude, and take people’s minds off such subjects as Do I Look Sexy Enough When They See Me In Profile?, How Can I Triple My Income Without Work?, What Will The Neighbours Say Now That I’m Down To Only 1,343 Facebook Friends?, and How Come The Dragon Tattoo On My Schwanz Turns Into The Semblance Of A Leaky Walmart Garden Hose Whenever I Have A Hard-on? To name only some of the more tedious existential dullemma’s on the mind of today’s young humans.

Not that I am hoping for war to break out. Oh no. Better to live surrounded by bad taste than by Dresden ruins and shallow graves, I say. But the dire fact is that too much peace and well-being, through a cruel design error in Creation, inevitably translates into psychological shallowness, the worship of artificial good looks, kinky sexual practices and idiotic monstrosities in Mayonnaise packaging. It is this latter - and worst - of the consequences that I wish to address today.

And let me come straight to the point, for as you all know: I deeply despise empty chatter and needless verbosity, particularly when it comes from the likes of 15-year old Luso-Ukrainian young ladies, their brattish Ethiopian-born younger brothers, Brussels Barrosos and Hermanic Haiku-scribblers, and – not to forget – anybody from Liverpool who is carrying plastic owls on his shoulder whenever they go into town because they have a private feud, for some inexplicable Liverputian reason, with the town’s harmless pigeons and think this will help…

So. The First Mittington Law on Mayonnaise Packaging runs as follows:

Manufactured Mayonnaise should only be marketed in a glass jar with a metal lid, OR in a metal tube with a plastic screw-on top.

All other ways, manners, designs, containers, wrappings, vessels, bowls, envelopes and ampules are ANATHEMA, i.e. an insult and affront to the Muses of Taste and Sophistication.

‘But Alfred’, I hear you clamour, ‘can you not give us an example of correct Mayonnaise packaging?’

Of course I can, dear reader! Am I not an expert in these matters? This, for instance, is a randomly chosen Correct Jar of Bottled Mayonnaise:

The jar has a proper, straight, cylindrical shape, free from weird bents or bulbs or wasp corset curves or conical frivolities. The label is rectangular, in one single piece (not two!), running roughly around 65 % of the bottle, and the top consists of a simple, copper-coloured, vacuum screw-on lid. It is therefore hygienic but easy to open, its entire contents may be removed without the assistance of plastic kitchen appliances on long pliable poles designed for the use in space travel, and the label can be removed effortlessly in a little lukewarm water so as to be added to one’s Mayonnaise label collection without triggering feelings of frustration or demanding the mathematical skills of an Einstein when it comes to plotting the layout of your scrap book. 

Now I know that manufacturers wish to underline the artisanal-ness of their product, and as long as this is not merely a matter of hollow pretence, but truly corresponds to the quality of their product, Alfred B. Mittington will be lenient (but remember Oscar Wilde’s dictum: nothing in excess!) Thus, a minor, modest and tasteful adornment of the lid such as this

can just carry away my approval. But I must begin to frown when this marketing fad turns into a marketing craze, which is at one wasteful, costly and clumsy, such as this French Devos & Lemmens variation from the year 2000, with its elastic band wrapping a plastic piece of tea-towel over the lid

After all, once unleashed unto the market, such fashion can only terminate in dandy designs such as

which for all I know (since I never tasted it) may be a fine ‘herbal mustard mayonnaise’ but looks like a salad dressing with an attitude. And that is not to mention the arabesque imprint around the rim of this here jar

which makes me suspect that there are also, out there in the wide wild world, jars of identical shape and lid-design which contain strawberry jam, fake Indian chutney, and multi-applicable motor oil…

I will not even discuss the use of plastic lids on top of a Mayo bottle. I have found that the mere touch of such a contraption onto the innocent palms of your hand as you try to unscrew the bottle sends strong, unequivocal signals to the brain that discourage the consumption of whatever may be found inside the jar. I will merely confront you, dear reader, with this question. Look at the below jar

and tell me: would you wish to eat whatever comes out from under the shockingly purple plastic sealing of this jar?? Or from this one?

I rest my case!

Finally, a word on tubes. Only the honest metal tubes of my childhood, manhood and seniorcitizenhood are allowed to contain the manna that is Mayo. Such as these two fine examples

Which allow the customer who partakes of the Golden Sauce they contain to roll up the tube until the very last of their contents may be sucked out. That is honest! That is true! That is what the Mayonnaise aficionado deserves!

Unfortunately, what we get instead nowadays, is not the tubes of our childhoods, but the tubes of the Robbin’ Hoods, which – in the least awful variety - look like the toothpaste tube in the lower right hand corned of this proud promotional picture

And in the worst, I shudder to say, in pinch-me-empty-like-a-cows’-utter upside-down PVC packing atrocity, with which I will begin the next article in this series in about a week’s time.

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