The instruction was right there, all along. I don't know how I missed it up until now. The logical conclusion is a network of time-travelling agents have been suppressing it from all boxes I happened to encounter in the hopes of achieving some incomprehensible goal by way of ridiculous conspiracies, and they've finally slipped. Or maybe I wasn't reading carefully before. When you consider (please consider it) I was reading a Saran wrap box you understand why I had not been looking for instructions. This is no rhetorical gimmick, since I was really reading the box, although not for instructions; I was expecting a short novel.
It's a pretty self-explanatory product. I pick up the box, accidentally cut my finger on the rim of metal teeth used to theoretically cut the wrap, then try to find the seam where one wrap fits around the cylinder, fail, and put the box back down, cutting my wrist on the teeth this time. Most people develop good skills at this before the fourth grade, and keep these skills for life.
Sometimes people pretend they can just pick up the edge of the Saran wrap and grab a sheet that way, but that's teasing. The Saran molecule, which was discovered in 1932, unless I mean 1952, is one of the stickiest things known to non-gecko science. It was isolated from the shells that naturally form around automobiles, which cause them in parking lots to nestle up just close enough to adjacent cars that you can't quite open the door wide enough to slip in without banging the most sensitive spot of your legs at least once, maybe twice. (While the automobile industry is troubled, there are enough cars in stock to meet current wrap needs through to 2016, unless people take to wrapping up their cars.)
These shells give protection to the car, I guess, or else why would they form? Since wrap is clear it can't be used by cars to make their plumage more attractive to cars of a desired autogender, and it's too thin to be a useful buffer in accidents. The only other use would be making it harder for me to get into the car, and cars do a fine job at that just by having someone else unlock my door as I pull the handle so that the door gets into an indeterminate state and the other person complains I'm wasting time.
But there was the box's instruction: if you can't find the edge of the outermost layer of Saran wrap, then put a piece of tape anywhere on it and pull it away. This should somehow draw the outer shell out. I'm amazed that they're putting this kind of information on Saran wrap boxes, instead of in Hints From Heloise columns. If tips like this escape into the world Heloise may be forced to close up shop and go wandering the streets telling people how to scrapbook toenail clippings for loose change. I'd hate to see her brought to that fate as I'm very self-conscious about my toenails, which range in appearance from unpleasant for a toenail down to ugly.
Just from that my mind fills up with important questions like: is Saran wrap a trademarked name, like 'Xerox' or 'Canada'? If so, who owns the trademark? If not, then who doesn't? And if someone does, but it's not trademarked, then what did they pay for it? Did they keep the receipt? Or was it a gift? This line of questions leads nowhere, and the jury is instructed to disregard it.
The problem with the tape solution is that it supposes the existence of a piece of tape. That's another absurdity since the next-most self-adhesive thing in the world after Saran wrap and Velcro ferrets, and there's no finding the edge of the outermost layer of tape to pull off a strip of tape. The solution to this very similar problem is to take the tape outside, by the car. There, drive over the tape several times until it becomes a crushed, adhesive paste. All this accomplishes is to make me feel better, but sometimes that's all I need.
Trivia: Ripe fruit can contain as much as 2,000 parts per million (0.2 percent) of ethylene the plants make from methionine. Source: Molecules At An Exhibition: The Science Of Everyday Life, John Emsley.
Currently Reading: No Applause --- Just Throw Money - or - The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, Trav S D. Ah, the Cherry Sisters. You forget the long legacy of classy behavior in American pop culture sometimes.