Read the Damn Instructions


Regular readers of this site know I often pontificate about reading manuals and instructions that come with consumer products. More importantly I often chastise people who don’t read said materials and have no sympathy for those who try to gain Darwin Award Nominations by not reading and following the instructions and required maintenance.  Perhaps it is a good thing when people try to remove themselves from the human gene pool by not bothering to read instructions.

When I retired the agreement was Joyce would continue to work since she is younger than me and I would complete the house remodel prior to her retirement. Another thing, which wasn’t an agreement, but something I volunteered to do — I would cook meals and do all the household chores. There was only one problem with this offer. I didn’t know how to cook.

My idea of cooking was throwing meat on a grill, or adding boiling water to a freeze-dried backpacking meal. So, I adapted to the expectations that I would learn how to actually cook, and do so without damage to her kitchen, appliances, or cookware. It hasn’t been difficult to transform domesticate myself.


One thing I noticed is Joyce often uses aluminum foil to cook and store food. And we have lots of aluminum foil. So I started to use it too. Right away two conundrums popped up. First, aluminum foil has a shiny and a dull side. Which side goes towards the food. The second, was the roll of foil kept falling out of the box.

Nowadays most people would hop onto social media and ask their peers what to do, or ask Google what to do. I took a different and apparently unique approach for a modern humanoid.

I decided to read the box.

I figured which side faces the food was probably immaterial. Foil is so thin that it can’t make a difference when cooking food.

Ask Read and you shall receive…

There was nothing on the box indicating one side of the foil is superior.

My conclusion is that the sides are different because how the foil is manufactured and it is not made this way for any enhanced cooking goal. No need to research further.

On the ends of the aluminum foil box I found this:

Ah, how simple. And it works well.

The cheap brand also has a roll lock tab…

Yep. Same thing.

What about wax paper (aside from question, why do we even have it in our kitchen)?

Hmm…. no tab for wax paper; but the roll stayed securely in the box. Close inspection showed that the tab is already built into the box:

My experiment

So for the past two weeks every time I go to a hardware store, gas station, bank, Dairy Queen, 7-11, McDonalds, etc., I have been asking people two questions. The count is over 100 people interviewed.

  1. How do you keep the aluminum foil roll from falling out of the box?
  2. Do you think global warming is a human caused problem?

Q1: No one has known how to keep the aluminum foil roll in the box.

Q2: 100% say global warming is a human caused problem.

So what does this mean? I don’t know. But it concerns me.



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