Easy open

In order to make it easier for you to open the envelopes bringing you financial information, usually reporting a debt or a deficit, the banks and other organizations have turned to envelopes with perforations.  There are two kinds of perforated envelopes, those that are difficult to open and those that are impossible.

To open the perforated envelope, one must follow the instructions, such as “Fold and tear along the perforation.”   It is necessary to bend the perforation back and forth to make it easier to tear the edges off.  By the time you have done this you could have opened a normal envelope, but never mind.  Once the perforations are weakened by several minutes of bending, you then must tear them,  otherwise you cannot open the envelope.  But this is easier said than done.  Most perforated edges can be torn off quite easily, although it takes considerable thumb and finger power to do so, but some of the envelopes are made of a thick untearable cardboard, so that it is very difficult to tear them.

But, in many cases the perforation does not extend to the top and bottom of the envelope, there is a section at the end of the perforation that is NOT perforated.  Whoever designed this little gimmick is very smart.  It means that it is almost impossible to tear the perforated edge and open the envelope.  Perhaps they don’t want you to be able to open it, the contents will remain top secret.  In order to remove the perforated edges in these case requires considerable strength, twisting and tearing, or a scissors.

But, if you think when you have torn off the two perforated edges that you can then read the contents of the letter, you are sadly mistaken.  In order to keep the letter inviolable, they have taken to putting a gum under the flap, where it says helpfully “Lift to open.”  In most cases the gum they are using is very strong, too strong to allow the flap to be lifted and the net result of trying to pull up the flap is that the envelope tears, such that it is then impossible to read the contents printed inside.   Alternatively, another kind of gum is made to stick onto you fingers and all other surfaces of the envelope, so that it is necessary to try to separate them, only resulting in further tearing.

My advice, when you receive an envelope with perforations, throw it away.  You don’t want to know the information it contains anyway.


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