Thursday, April 05, 2007

Force Flex Farce

I would like to register a product complaint.

We are currently auditioning brand name kitchen garbage bags. That’s right. We’re movin’ on up…from the generic brands.

For the previous six years, we’ve been hit hard in the pocketbook. We looked for ways to save, and one of the ways was by buying sub-par garbage bags. Dollar store garbage bags. Bags that would rip if we talked about throwing away a lettuce leaf.

It only took a few times of cleaning the kitchen floor for us to remember that we had to carry our garbage bags by the bottom from the kitchen to the curb while running at a fast cantor to avoid spillage (and spoilage) on the way.

Have you ever tried to carry a bulging, flimsy garbage bag from the bottom while running in flip-flops?

I don’t recommend it.

Every time we would see an ad for brand name kitchen garbage bags, we’d sigh in envy. “I wish we could buy brand name,” I’d utter, cleaning the floor (from yet another spill), while up to my ankles in garbage.

One bag in particular caught my fancy. Glad’s Force Flex bags. The commercial clearly demonstrated not even a rhino could get through the Force Flex shield.

“We could finally throw away our Pop-Tart boxes,” I told Brett, looking at the tiny Sears tower that was evolving from our box collection.

Brett and I are lazy, convenience and frozen food eaters, and we hate to disassemble boxes before throwing them away.

I envisioned throwing away boxes, hangers, and light bulbs any time I wanted. A dream, I knew, has to start somewhere.

After Brett began his new job, we had a few extra dollars to spend. As we perused the garbage bag aisle, I was captivated by Glad’s Odor Shield bags. These bags came with a “special odor neutralizing” agent.

In my head I saw our kitchen spotless (a state it has never entered) with the smell of sweet honeysuckle over pouring from our trash can (also spotless in the daydream).

I successfully made my case for the bags. Although Brett pointed out as we left with a 40 count box of bags, “You know our house is still going to smell like rabbits, right? No agent can neutralize that smell.”

He was right, of course. But I liked the fresh smell when I shook out the bags and was very happy when they appeared to be strong as well. There was no more bottom-carrying or 50 yard dashes to the curb.

About halfway through the box of bags, Brett approached me with a sad glint in his eye and a tissue held up to his nose.

“We’re going to have to switch to something else. That fresh smell is making me nauseous”

“How can this make you nauseous?” I asked while sticking my head in the garbage can and taking a full whiff of honeysuckle cleanness, along with some garbage I had forgotten was there before my sniffing demonstration.

The very act sickened him, but he made a feeble attempt and sniffed in the direction of the bag before sneezing violently and backed way quickly as his eyes watered and turned an angry reddish color.

“Oh, fine. You big baby,” I countered, angry to have my spotless and aromatic kitchen dream destroyed.

On our second attempt to buy brand name garbage bags, we were drawn back to the Glad Force Flex. We stood in front of it in awe and considered it destiny when we both uttered “Pop Tarts” at the same time.

That first week, I was excited as I threw away several boxes, including the massive Jimmy Dean Microwavable Egg and Sausage Biscuit box that had previously housed Brett’s favorite ( and daily) breakfast sandwich.

I pulled the bag out of the can, expecting rounded bulges from the boxes, and completely convinced not even a rhino could penetrate our brand name bags.

The sad reality became evident to me as I saw sharp box edges very clearly sticking out of the plastic. Corners from our Pop Tarts, frozen dinners, and pizza boxes were sadly exposed. The bag, held at the right angle, could easily have been used as a deadly weapon.

“Stay away from her! She’s hold the Protruding Sharp Right Angle Trash Bag of Death!”

I showed the bag, now vaguely resembling a lumpy white porcupine to Brett.

“At least it doesn’t stink,” he shrugged.

“Of course it stinks. There’s a week’s worth of garbage in here, and it’s being well ventilated.”

“I meant, it doesn’t make me nauseous. Hey, are those my flip-flops? You know you can’t run to the curb in those without tripping.”

I hoped it was a one time thing, but I soon discovered (this point was not covered in the commercial) that the Force Flex Shield is apparently made out of dollar store garbage bags.

Now, we have to go back to auditioning garbage bags.

I just haven’t had the heart to tell Brett yet. So, I’ve just been telling him that his violent sneezing, runny nose, and watery, itchy eyes is because he’s allergic to dust. And I just haven’t had time to clean.

Although, I’m thinking he may have figured it out today when he asked, “Do you smell honeysuckle in here, or is it just me?”


Heidi said...

THis one is hilarious. I can empathize with you on this one. We found a long time ago that we have to splurge on the more expensive name brand bags. We tried the scented (smelled okay, but not strong enough), force flex (no rhino is going to stay in those), etc... Nothing worked. Finally we went to the Glad 30 gallon bags. We stuff and stuff, so we have to get strong bags. My husband bought the store brand this time though, so we will see if they work. If they do, will let you know.

Patrick Berryman said...

Very funny (although I feel a bit of guilt at having spent more time this morning reading about garbage bags than I have reading scripture).

There are some generic things that I buy regularly because I hate paying the additional amount for "branding". Most frozen fruits and vegetables fall in that category (but I do confess that there are some brands of frozen strawberries that I believe are inferior in terms of quality). Lacey and I both agree that we can't cut corners when it comes to bathroom tissue. I once came home with a huge package of "generic" tissue, proud of how much I had saved over the name brand stuff. After a few days of using twice as much to create our own "two ply", and actually wondering if this particular tissue was made from recycled sandpaper, we conceded that even if they were paying us to use this stuff, it wasn't worth the money saved. The solution we found was using the store brand products from Sam's Club. It costs less than the name brand (and a little more than some of the real cheap generic stuff), but the quality is excellent.