My Early Holiday Present: Styrofoam!
The other day as I stepped out through the front door into the brisk, fresh-smelling air, I nearly tripped over a brown box about the size of a large microwave oven.
Fortunately, it didn’t weigh quite as much as a microwave and I have no stories about breaking backs, strained leg muscles, etc. Actually, a two-year-old could have easily picked up the box (assuming he could get his arms around it) considering that the whole package could not have weighed more than one pound. What was in it? Styrofoam chips!
Well, mostly. Now, from the way the contents were packaged (double boxed, no less), you would have thought that someone had shipped me a glass goose or perhaps the golden egg. Something that would crack with the slightest hint of impact or shatter if you sneezed on it.
In fact, buried within all of the fluffy, white, statically charged styrofoam that insisted on clinging to any part of my body that came into contact with were a few much-needed auto parts for my 1969 MGB.
See the photo above. I had ordered some valve seals (o-rings), two rubber grommets, a decal sticker, and an air injection manifold. These items are at the bottom of the picture. You could have haphazardly flung any of these items off the roof of a two-story building and none of these items would have been even remotely damaged upon hitting the ground.
The rest of the items in the photo are packing materials. Don’t you think this was a bit excessive? It took 15-20 minutes, three plastic shopping bags and a shop vac to clean up and dispose of all this… never mind how many trees were sacrificed for the cardboard and that styrofoam isn’t exactly the most environmentally sound stuff.
Also never mind that if I had, say, sold these items on eBay I’d have simply wrapped the manifold in a little bit of bubblewrap, thrown that plus the other items in a large envelope, and shipped it off for <$3. Although I guess I now know why the company that shipped me this stuff charged $17 for shipping and handling!