I hate to alarm you, but we have a packaging crisis in the United States. As in...too much of it. This became obvious yesterday upon the arrival of two items we had ordered.
Exhibit A is a dress that MLB purchased from the website of a well-known clothier. Here's the box in which it was shipped (I included her to give you a sense of scale):
Now, I could understand this kind of packaging if she had ordered, say, a suit of medieval armor, or if she starred in a reality show on Spike TV entitled Gargantuan and Sexy, but in truth it was a little filmy dance dress, and she qualifies for only part of that imaginary TV series. Anyway, I have no idea what the shipper was thinking. Perhaps they had run short of dress-sized boxes. Perhaps they were simply responding to a perceived "bigger = more valuable" philosophy that accompanies our tendency to super-size our consumption. Or, more likely, the guy in the shipping department just grabbed the closest box.
Exhibit B came in the form of a Nutribullet (I know; that's a topic for another discussion) that we ordered from Wal-Mart. Here's how the less-than-two-feet-tall device was packaged:
In this case, the shipping department employee was either a big fan of matryoshka dolls, or really into recursion. Or, we should not completely discount that he was influenced by a recent meal of turducken. Anyway, while Nutribullet is obviously proud of its product (as evidenced by what they charge for it), packaging it more securely than a shipment of weapons-grade plutonium seems a bit excessive.
And speaking of excessive, after she unpacked the boxes, MLB spoke of the largest box being "filled with intestines." I was simultaneously intrigued and repulsed, but here's what she was referring to:
I admit to being impressed that someone was actually able to get anything else into the Master Box™ along with that air-filled serpent. I was less impressed with the effort it took to deflate each one of those little pillows so I could get them into a trash can. It was much less satisfying than bubble wrap.
Boxing Day is a big deal in Canada; perhaps the US needs to start observing an Unboxing Day.
Note: I put this post into the "Design" category, because packaging engineering is a real thing. Anyone who's ever struggled to open a box of cereal knows that the right design makes a big difference.