This week’s Screech — in an easy-to-open package!

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I’m madder than a starving great white shark who had his tiny brain set on eating a shell-covered sea turtle and ended up spending thousands of dollars on dental implants over the fact that I can’t for the life of me open up that package of batteries I need to light my flashlight, among other things.

Look, you all know the ol’Screecher isn’t called the ol’Screecher because he is young. In fact, I am older than the Catskill Mountains, and because I’m a tinge overweight and my hands are the first things to swell up whenever it gets hot, I sometimes have problems using my so-called opposable thumb, making it literally impossible to open up any of the packages the mailman or the UPS man or the FedEx man or the Puralator Courier man brings to my door.

Now, I’m not talking about the packages themselves — those are easy as I still pack quite a wallop and can punch my way through anything my Amazon Prime account tapes up.

But once I get through the outer core, I routinely find that the creamy goodness I’m expecting on the inside is locked down tighter than Guantanamo Bay. And when it comes to getting these things open, well, you don’t want me on that wall.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Carmine, haven’t you used your guile your entire life to work out problems such as this.”

The short answer is “Yes,” but the long answer is no amount of guile is going to get me to open any one of these plastic contraptions without cutting myself on some sharp corner, spilling my precious blood all over the living room floor. And if there is one thing I hate in life it’s seeing the stuff that keeps oxygen going to my brain being sopped up by my poor, lovely wife Sharon as she screams “Carmine, for the love of God, get a Band-Aid!”

I’m not exaggerating! I gotta think that the company that puts together the packaging is some larger conglomerate that sells other products like bandages, tourniquets, antiseptics, tweezers to remove the bit of plastic imbedded in your fingers, iodine, Mercurochrome, Castor Oil, first-aid kits, emergency survival kits, and handbooks on how to stitch up a wound!

My saga for revenge started Tuesday when I needed batteries to put in the remote for my air conditioner to keep me from burning calories while I watch the Zenith in the living room. But the batteries in the remote were dead, and I was beginning to sweat. Now, with all the gadgets I have in the house, I always keeps lots of batteries on hand — except the size I always need — the triple-As.

A search through all the drawers yielded none when I remembered riding Tornado over to the CVS and buying a 20-pack of double- and triple-A batteris. As luck would have it, there they were in an old wire basket from my first scooter. The 20 pack of the double-A batteries were still intact, but there were only a few triple-As left in the package, on which I could still see my dried blood thanks to my last encounter with it.

So I pull out the necessary amount of batters and loaded them into the air conditioner remote as my fingers started to swell up. But when I pointed the device at the air conditioner, it still didn’t turn on. In fact, it didn’t turn on no matter how hard I hit the button or how fast I threw the remote at the air conditioner!

Now, I got to stand up and walk over to the air conditioner to turn it on as if it’s the 1600s or something. Sheesh!

Now’s the point in the column where I point out some nice thing that somebody did for me during this last week.

A bicyclist crossing the Belt Parkway overpass found a pink stamped envelope addressed to me from the state Department of Employer Benefits. Inside was my benefits check. He brought it to my building, and the security guard brought him and it up to the apartment where Sharon received it and thanked them both. Thought I’d brighten your day by showing this selfless action that could have cost me a lot of trouble with my benefit if not for this angel of a man. Thank you nameless one, and be sure contact me and I’ll take you and the security guard for breakfast at the Park View Diner.

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine's screech every Sunday on E-mail him at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I hate to say this, but I had this same problem when I ordered a "box cutter" on last week. I couldn't find anything to open it with, and so I threw it away.
Here's hoping you will forgive me with a quick pardoning.
July 21, 2014, 2:51 pm

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