Monday, August 24th, 2009
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New 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Promo


This preview for the seventh season of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is only about thirty seconds, but it is the most succinct explanation for why the show works that I've seen thus far: Larry David takes an obvious and hackneyed premise-in this case, the difficulty of opening those damned plastic theft-guards-and still manages to extract humor from it. I laughed, at least. Thank God there's something to look forward to this fall for those of us who aren't counting down the seconds to the new "Melrose Place." [Via]

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NinetyNine (#98)

(Tibor Kalman)

So, you're finally ready to start enjoying some of those CD gifts and Boxing Day music bargains. Remember these steps.

1. Remove the plastic wrap. How? With a knife? Better yet, buy a special $1.49 EZ-CD opener tool designed precisely for this purpose. (Now, where did you put that thing?)

2. Peel off the special sticker that seals the CD case. Don't bother with the little pull tab — it'll tear off and become useless if you dare touch it. Just start peeling the plastic off with your nails instead. The pieces are Super Glued, so they will stick to your fingers. Roll them into a ball and flick it against the wall. Then ask a neighbour to remove the little ball of sticky plastic and throw it away.

3. Open the plastic box. It's snapped tight on itself. Insert your index finger at the opening opposite the hinge and pry carefully. Try very hard not to break the box. The box, called a jewel box probably because of the jewels that the packaging executives were able to purchase with their profits, is 8 millimetres thick. You can fit about 125 into a metre of drawer space. A CD that is slipped into a cardboard sleeve the way LPs were packaged is about 1.6 millimetres thick. You can fit more than 600 in a metre of drawer space.

4. Ah. Now you can see the CD! Try to remove it. Go ahead. It's plugged onto that little plastic thing with the little plastic fingers — plugged on really tight to secure it for shipping. In the next two weeks, those little, tiny plastic fingers will break off, one at a time, and fall on the floor. Your dog will eat them. ("It might be food. If not, I'll just throw up.")

5. The CD itself has a colourful label with a stunning colour photo of a boot. No artist's name, no title, no song list, just this beautiful, shiny boot. The back cover of the CD box has the other boot. To find the song list, you must try to remove the CD booklet. This will take considerable ingenuity because it is wedged into position by several cleverly designed plastic tabs and a special device that is a last-ditch attempt to block you when you try to remove it. This will cost you a cuticle.

6. Open the CD booklet. Turn to the last page. There, among the copyright notices, publishing credits and assistant tape-engineer credits, you'll find the song list. Isn't it fun reading with a magnifying glass?

7. Enjoy the CD.

8. Return the CD to its shelf. Since the boxes are slippery, carry them one at a time and never stack them, to avoid the consequences of No. 9. Make appointments with your optometrist and chiropractor if you amass a shelved collection.

9. In two weeks, you'll drop the plastic box while trying to open it. Its hinges will break, challenging you to find another solution to the problem of storing your now naked CD.

10. In a couple of years, you'll put them in the basement, next to your LPs, replacing them with mini-CCDVDCVDXs, the new state-of-the-art format. The guys with the jewels have the packaging already figured out. Just 14 steps.

katiebakes (#32)

After the Great Third Eye Blind Misinterpretation of 2009, I'm afraid to respond to this with any genuine excitement.

The "What's a plastic theft-guard, Old?" angle is open!

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