Tuesday, March 31, 2015
pulling for the dates
I am past my pull date.
If not not me, then my Kleenex box. Maybe.
I was sitting by the pool having a spirited conversation my my Mexican friend Ozzy when I glanced at the end of a Kleenex box that was meant for my bathroom, but ended up on the patio table. Another piece of evidence that the aging mind tends to ramble.
And there it was. Just as Ayn Rand teasingly told us in Atlas Shrugged: Our days are numbered.
At least, this box was. It came from a stack of 24 or so. Probably purchased from Costco or Sam's Club -- after I bought the house. I appear to have used up two boxes. There are still enough Kleenex in the house for a couple more years.
Or so I thought. But look at that pull date on the end of the box. 16/08/14.
First of all, what is the date? There is no longer a standardized dating system -- even with products from the same company.
I am willing to bet the pull date either was 16 August 2014 or it will be 14 August 2016. No other combination works -- unless you happen to be Romulan. If it is the latter, I have a lot of tissuing to do.
If it is the former, I guess I need to start tossing them -- if I find any credence in pull dates.
Several years ago, the soda companies were pressured into slapping pull dates on their products -- even though there was no evidence of product problems based solely on time. The newspaper article that announced the change quoted a company spokesman -- Coca-Cola, if memory serves -- that the dates would go on solely because surveys had indicated consumers wanted them.
And there you have it. Another piece of data that pops up recurringly in our lives, but may serve no objective purpose.
Milk? Certainly. It has a short shelf life. Failing to use milk by its stamped date will almost certainly give you a head start on making cottage cheese.
There is a local merchant who has a habit of sticking ingredient labels in Spanish over the expiration date on imported goods. Some are fully a year past the pull date.
I have yet to have a bad digestive experience from any of his past-due products. Of course, this is from the man who regularly ate ten-year-old cans of soup rather than throwing them out.
Here is my take on these silly pull dates. My life experience tells me to use some foods -- like milk as soon as possible. Other things, such as, cheese need less monitoring.
And some things need a pull date like I need a reminder that April follows March.
The Kleenex? Each time I blow my nose on a tissue during the next two years, I will consider it to be a political statement.