I don't suppose you've ever thought how boring it would be
to be a cake. Not even a real one; a tiny, bright pink,plastic thing,
with Happy Birthday written across it corner to corner; part of a
miniaturised Tea Set. Nothing to do except be picked up by giant
sticky fingers and laid out on a plate with plastic cups and
saucers set out around, while Little Madam burbles some sort of
cooing conversation with a bunch of pointless teddy-bears propped
up in a group. Not exactly a useful occupation. Actually I did
think I was going to be useful once, when Little Madam tried to
feed me to her baby brother. I was hoping to choke him (I'm pretty
sure she hoped the same thing) but some adult's huge digit
scooped me out of his gloopy wet mouth before I could get further
than the back of his tongue. All I ended up with for my pains
was a few toothmarks on one of my edges.
Humans make these weird sounds, so deep-toned and loud compared
with us that you can't really distinguish words, just feel heavy
vibrations. So I don't know what was said. Just that we were
banished to the top shelf of the toy cupboard. We lay there
for a long time gathering dust. In fact if you'd got much sharper
ears than you have, you might have heard a barrage of tiny sneezes
after a while. Not that anyone would have noticed; the air was
getting increasingly full of bleepings and pippings, not to mention
silly electronic tunes. We used to lay bets,the cups and I, on
which noisy thing would break down first. Then for an even longer
time there was silence, with the cupboard door never even opened.
No use yelling out, "Hey, we're still here!" I mean, even if you
people had developed proper hearing, who'd care?
Somebody did remember us eventually. The cupboard door swung
and there was light, and noise, and then - swoosh, we were swept
off to tumble into darkness. A black plastic sack, I concluded.
Then we were thrown down somewhere with a thump. But if you
think that was the end of the indignities I've gone through, it
wasn't. The corner of the bag split and I tumbled out. But
before I could shout to the rest of the teaset to escape too,
the bag was swept up in the air and they were gone. I only just
avoided being ground into the mud by a giant boot...but there I
was, all alone. What next?
There's a blank here for a bit. But someone apparently wanted
me. Because the next thing I remember is being in a large light
space full of sharp aromas, strange but not unpleasant. Then
another blank, and then - then - something smelly and sticky
was applied to my underside. (It bloody well stung, too.) I was
slapped onto something flat. Surrounded by other slapped-on things.
And splashes of paint. A rumble of satisfaction was going on
So that's how come I'm here, under bright lights, with lots
of people peering at me (well, at the rest of the assembly too,
I suppose) and I'm gradually learning to pick out words from
the deep vibrations going on out there. Words like, "brilliant"
and "post-modern" and something which sounds like "Turner Prize".
Though what the hell that is, I wouldn't know.
But I'll tell you one thing. I'm not "Post-Modern". I'm not
any sort of modern. I'm old style, unrepentant, unreconditionable
plastic. Whatever you do with me, I'll be here long after you
are. So will my friends the cups and saucers, wherever they've
landed up. You may tire of us, throw us out, even try to burn us
(in which case, personally, I'll turn into a lump of pink glop)
but we'll still be here. You may consider us rubbish, but one
day we'll drown you.
Well above your level of hearing, there are cheers.
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