The Little Irritations of Life #10: The Unstackability of Heinz

Some people live off baked beans.  No harm in that.  They are cheap; they are nutritious.  There are plenty of worse things to eat.  However, I am not one of those people.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a bean.  The chances are, at any given time, it will be possible to discover a tin of baked beans in my larder.  I just don’t eat them for every meal.  Once a week at most; more often once a fortnight.  I could perhaps be persuaded to eat them more often, but therein lies a problem.

beans stacking stylised

When I buy baked beans, I always buy Heinz.  Not for me the supermarket own brands, or the various rival makes; I am afraid that I have bought into the corporate messaging: Beanz Meanz Heinz.  But I will only buy one tin at a time.

Why?  Because to purchase more than one can of Heinz baked beans is asking for chaos in the pantry.  The reason?  The tins do not stack.  Other tins stack neatly one upon another; the bottom of one can slotting neatly into the top of another, to form a solid, unmovable whole.  Not so with Heinz.  The bottom of one tin slides gracefully over the top of another tin, like a free-dance figure skater across the ice.  In a neatly ordered kitchen cupboard, it is an invitation to anarchy.  Tins topple; cans collapse: once one miscreant tin has set the agenda that anything goes, there is no stopping the rot.

400 beans closeup stacking

In the world of tins, I think the most fundamental requirement is order.  Tin cans are the foot soldiers of the supermarket army.  They should display discipline, obedience, and parade-ground uniformity.  Anything less is akin to gross subordination: “Private Heinz!  Stand to attention in the ranks!  Get a haircut!”

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree takes out his frustrations on inanimate objects.

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