Tuesday, September 19, 2006


By Oswald Culpepper

They were coming for her, no question about it. Yes, after what she had said at the Tupperware party, they were most certainly coming for her.

Jenny sat up in bed and lit another cigarette. Why did I say it? she wondered, replaying the moment over and over in her mind. What could have possessed me to blurt out such a thing? The end of the cigarette crackled in the flame, and she took a long, contemplative drag.

Had it been the apple schnapps talking? Maybe so. Maybe she had still been grieving for her recently deceased guinea pig. After all, grief can make people say things they should keep to themselves, and this was the one thing she needed to keep to herself.

She had grown weary of all the talk at the party about stackable bowls and festive tumblers, and had announced with tragic glibness, "Oh, I just put my leftovers in old yogurt and cottage-cheese containers." How she had wanted those words back! No amount of chit-chat about modular pantry containers would make the other women forget what she had said.

Trudging home from the party along the city's empty streets, Jenny's despair seemed to grow with every step. By the time she arrived at her apartment, it was all she could do to fix herself a drink before crawling into bed to wait for the inevitable.

It all happened so quickly. It always did. Not long after midnight, Jenny heard whispers in the courtyard below. A walkie-talkie crackled softly. Suddenly, a powerful light blazed through the window, illuminating every corner of her bedroom. Seconds later, the front door exploded off its hinges, and several pairs of heavy boots thundered up the stairs. Four black-clad men grabbed Jenny and stuffed her into a very large Tupperware container. The lid was snapped shut, and then they hustled her out of the building and into a black sedan, which sped away into the darkness.

Soon, Jenny and her abductors would arrive at the dreaded Ministry of Food-Storage Solutions, a cold and windowless place that made even the most loyal Tupperware Party member shudder. And it was here that the merciless authorities would teach young Jenny the one true way to lock in freshness and flavor.

(In the tradition of Huxley and Orwell, author and philosopher Oswald Culpepper introduced the world to his peculiar dystopian vision in 1949 with the publication of “Through the Plastic Looking Glass." On this, the 50th anniversary of his trampling by a syphilitic mule, Electric Storytime is proud to present just one of Culpepper’s magnificent and misunderstood masterworks.)

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