Wednesday, September 27, 2006


When I was a kid, my sister and I had to bring our lunches to school most of the time, as we were only allotted (IIRC) two 'hot' lunches a week, where we could buy whatever school was serving. When we made our lunches at home, we weren't allowed to bring pop as the beverage, but rather brought Minute-Maid 100% juice boxes.

Juice boxes were actually somewhat rare. Most kids who brought their lunch brought Capri-Sun juice pouches, as they had much cooler Saturday morning cartoon-commercials and, all-importantly, contained extra sugar (which is precisely why we weren't allowed to bring them). The thing I remember most about Capri-Sun pouches was that they were virtually impossible to open.

The small plastic straw was supposed to be used like a spear to poke a hole through the pouch into the juice. In theory at least. To actually get this to work required a careful combination of skill and luck, as if you stabbed too softly with the straw it just bent and failed to break through the foil-ish wrapper. If you stabbed too hard, you'd go right through the back of the pouch. If you were squeezing the pouch too tightly, juice would spurt all over when you finally did break through. It was a very delicate operation. At least for those of us who didn't do it every day.

What does this have to do with anything, you might ask?

Well, this weekend Cub was running a promotion and so Linzy brought home a big carton of free Minute Maid juice pouches. Yes, even Minute Maid has switched to pouches now to compete with the Capri-Sun juggernaut (I assume). So now we've had the opportunity to discover that juice pouches are still impossible to open.

Amusingly the Minute Maid carton prominently displays 'Easy to Open', yet neither Linzy nor I were able to open the first pouch without reaching for the scissors. And when I had problems again tonight when I was doing the dramatic re-enactment.

You'd think 20 years later, someone would have invented a truly easy-to-open juice pouch. I guess not.


McBrideFarm said...

I remember learning that those darn pouches were still too much for me when I worked at Camp Adventureland. We had those as part of the snack for kids who stayed late. The little ones could never open theirs, and I wasn't much help. I always called upon one of the fifth-graders to help me.

Of course, I wasn't much better with the juice boxes as a kid, either. I remember accidentally squeezing the box while inserting the straw many a time. Oops! Now my shirt is pink!

wleino said...

During grade school we had a flock of "ball ladies" to open the pouches during lunch.

Ball Lady is what we called the playground attendants, but they milled around while we ate to open ate as well. I assume for the sole purpose of opening Capri Suns.

wleino said...

Sometimes I keep typing after I edit in my head...

remove open ate from the second to last sentence to break the code.

Bill Roehl said...

My wife can open these pouches every single time without an issue. I consistently have issues with them including bent straws, liquid all over my desk, and my beard.

I have watched her do it numerous times but can never replicate it. Bleh!

Steve Eck said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought they were impossible to open!