SPECIAL TO THE TIMES, <i> Mason Stockstill, 16, will be a junior this fall at Woodbridge High School in Irvine. </i>

Picture this: It’s afternoon, and an executive at a CD manufacturing company is relaxing between meetings. Suddenly, a harried-looking young administrative assistant bursts through the doors.

“Mr. Smith! Mr. Smith!” she cries, obviously perturbed.

“What is it, Jane?” asks Smith, with an air of anger and curiosity.

“It’s terrible!” she groans. “The latest surveys have come in. The CD packaging--it’s, it’s . . . “


“It’s what?” exclaims Smith, already out of his chair.

“It’s convenient and easy to get into!”

“No! This can’t be happening. Call the boys down at the plant. Tell them to make those annoying little silver stickers that we put on the jewel boxes even stronger! And seal the cellophane tighter! We don’t want anyone getting into those cases easily.”



Well, that’s what it seems like, anyway.

CDs have gotten increasingly difficult to open. Granted, they were never easy to get into in the first place. In the old days, they came in large, unwieldy boxes, which were monstrously annoying. But all you had to do was rip and tear until a jewel box popped out. This concept was rendered obsolete, however, when the angry voices of environmentalists chimed in with those who complained that the boxes were too big for them to shoplift.

Nowadays, CDs come in those little cases called jewel boxes, wrapped tightly in cellophane. Easy to get into? Ha!

Once you get past the wrapper, which sticks to the box like lawyers to an accident scene, there is a tiny silver sticker holding the box shut. This sticker, which is almost indestructible, has holograms on it advertising various manufacturing and recording companies. That’s all well and good, but most of us want to get to the box and listen to the music. Thank goodness for power tools.


A friend of mine has found a solution to this packaging debacle. He throws the case on the ground until it shatters. He then picks up the CD, which is usually undamaged (or so he hopes), and puts it in his CD carrying case.

Ha! Showed you, Mr. Smith.