"Get off my back. You're squashing me."
"Step aside. You're blocking my view."
"What's that squeamish liquid swimming in you? Are you insane to allow such
inedibles to be in you?"
"Look at your state! You get easily chipped and you melt when hot water is
poured into you. As for me, nothing flaks
me, hot or cold, chilly hot or water hot. I can take anything."
These exchanges were heard, day in and day out in the pantry where Mrs Locke
kept all her containers that were made of plastic, metals of copper, tin,
aluminium, stainless steel, porcelain and wood. You name the material, she has
it. If only Mrs Locke could understand what her "prized" possessions were
saying, she would be surprised at their lofty and arrogant talk.
Little square keeper gave a contented sigh. "My sisters and I come in such
lovely hues. Mrs Locke looks for us whenever she wants to pack her sandwiches
and tea cakes. We are never ever forgotten. We love the cries of pleasures
whenever she drops us off at her Thursday tea party."
The bamboo "bakul siah" turned up her nose and snorted. "You are absolutely
wrong. You can't beat my status. You can see my family members at all Peranakan
engagement and wedding ceremonies. Without us, the authenticity of the
traditions is missing."
Her arrogance was met with a stony silence as all rudely ignored her. She was
really a pain and no one could be bothered with her claims and self praise and
"Friends, stop acting like spoilt brats. We all have our uses. Some are used
more often than others but they get tainted, chipped, broken and discarded
faster. Look at the cheap plastic containers that are in abundance in the "2
dollar plastic shops" - they are used but once. Can you see the flying Styrofoam
food containers , the plastic water containers that lie in agony on the streets
and drains, the expensive water bottles with all the famous trade marks are
abandoned just as well when they turn smelly or discolored. We should demand for
quality production so that we can serve mankind longer." The words came from a
scarred Tupperware tumbler that had seen better days but now was left to fend
for herself in some dark corner, practically forgotten.
"Serve mankind better! You must be out of your mind. Years ago, they said
plastic is non-biodegradable, now they say we're recycleable. And I won't be too
surprised if they say we're unreliable or even indispensable." The grumblings
emitted from a dark corner in the pantry.
Some of the plastic receptacles nodded sagely in agreement while some others
feigned ignorance or intolerance.
A sudden stream of light filtered into the pantry as the pantry door was
pulled ajar. In the doorway stood rotund Mrs
Locke and her long-suffering domestic help. "Anna and May told me to get rid of
all these plastic, wooden and metal stuff. They're getting for me a completely
new set of durable stuff and I need storage space for them. So, Siti, throw away
those that no longer look presentable or pack them into black plastic bags to be
donated to anyone who fancies them."
Those words put the fear of abandonment into each and every resident in the
pantry. Who would be the unlucky ones? Who would get a second chance of
All were struck dumb until a quick-witted small pair of plastic chopsticks
slipped off the shelf and whoa!, as Mrs Locke turned her back to exit, she
slipped. The impish chopsticks had lodged themselves in the path of the feet.
She gave a loud cry as she caught hold of her maid and both of them fell, the
fat one on top of the puny one.
For once, the whole pantry was united. They were vastly amused and their glee
knew no bounds or limits as they laughed themselves silly at the bizarre sight.
"That reminds me, we should stick together against mankind. We have to be the
masters, not the slaves at the whims and fancies of man." Injected an unfamiliar
voice from the floor - a rubber ball.