EVERYTHING should be packaged with Harmless Packaging.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to save the world and everything, but mostly I want the things in my life to i) look good and ii) be fun.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I picked up the November issue of Creative Review while waiting for the train on Tuesday (first opportunity since pay day, which I’ve now rectified with a student – ha! – subscription). It came wrapped in a slightly murky looking plastic bag because it had a free Heidelberg Process Colour Guide. But hang on, what’s that? Massive letters across the front pronounce that ‘This Bag Dissolves In Water’. My curiosity was piqued; the deal was sealed. I was obviously going to buy it.
Now I’d like to say that I’ve never bought something primarily for its packaging, but that would be a little way from the truth. Following the mantra of my life (see above) I have come to possess various ephemera that are invariably put at the bottom of a drawer or back of a cupboard after completing their regulation apprenticeship somewhere amongst the rest of my shit valued possessions on my bedroom floor. But I still won’t throw it away. I like the surprise of rediscovering old shit that’s still awesome.
Unfortunately, this packaging won’t be joining the ranks of Stuff I Own. It has been dissolved.
But this story is not without its drama. As I handed over the magazine at the till, the sales assistant opened the bag and removed both the magazine and the colour guide to find the barcode. I was tense. I suspected he might not give me the bag back. Then my plans would be scuppered. I waited with baited breath (and possibly with eyes that betrayed my inner panic) as he manhandled the magazine back into the wrapper. But in the end it was (predictably) all ok and it was approximately seven minutes before I removed both again and settled down to read the magazine cover to cover on the journey from London to Oxford.
Anyway, to cut a short story shorter, as soon as I got home I filled the sink with hot water and embraced the spectacle that unfolded. I particularly enjoyed the goopiness midway through its metamorphosis. If I’d thought about it a bit more, I could have taken some better snaps but as it is, I was more interested in the actual dissolving than documenting it. So, in case you’d prefer to see this done with more precision and nicer photos, this is how Creative Review dissolved their own plastic packaging.
I almost want to buy another copy just to do it again.