Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Little Crisp That Could… And Then Actually Couldn't

This is the view from my bedroom window.

The first thing you might think on seeing this picture is that our neighbours must produce a LOT of rubbish.

They do.

But another group of you will only have eyes for another part of the frame. Those people are the eagled-eyed potato-based-snack fanatics, and every civilisation has them.

In this instance, the quarry of this unique group of hunters is a Hula Hoop placed on top of the wall that divides us from our waste-profligate neighbours.

Let's stretch the zoom capabilities of the iphone camera to the farthest reaches of endeavour and take a closer look.

There's nothing so remarkable about this. I live on a busy road which, for a great many, is the route from public house to home, or school to leisure. Hula Hoop hi-jinx, you might say, are inevitable in such a situation.

But the wall is about seven feet tall.

And the Hula Hoop has been there for weeks. Petrified, potato-y weeks and weeks.

Quite alone, it has defended its post in the face of driving rain and high winds. On each of January's unforgiving nights, I have looked out of the window before going to bed, observing the frost on the cars, the litter on the driveway and the Hula Hoop on the wall.

And somehow it has stared down the famished foxes and cats of the neighbourhood, who clearly don't believe in not eating where they shit, because this is indeed where they shit.

The fortitude of this tiny, tenacious Hula Hoop only enforced my belief that it is the king of all crisps – its unbroken circle a ready-salted symbol of endurance that, coincidentally, is also perfectly engineered to be eaten off the fingers of five-year-olds at parties.

The foxes of this world are welcome to all the oven-baked, 'gourmet'-flavoured crisp innovations of the last 20 years if they will leave me perfect, plain Hula Hoops.

I see you and your strength, tiny crisp. And I will try to be a little more like you.

Together, I thought to myself, we will wait for the snow.

And then this morning I looked out of the window and noticed that the Hula Hoop had finally moved, just a couple of inches towards my house. And I could see quite clearly that it was a pebble.


Cx said...

What about the cardboard box robot monster lurking behind the gate? That's where my eagle-eyes were drawn...

Alison Cross said...

I am full of admiration for the hula hoop (I refuse to believe that it is a pebble) and would draw your attention to Kevin, the pain au chocolate who lives in my bread bin. Kevin has lived there for at least 3 years, possibly longer. He is getting a bit desiccated looking, but has nary a blush of mould upon his glossy skin.

He is now officially a member of the family who came out and celebrated Christmas with us *fact*

Ali x

Anonymous said...

I once spent weeks fearing my walk from home to Tulse Hill station as someone had painted an incredibly life-like (and in-perspective) spookily dressed figure on a wall, and every single time I turned the corner to face it I'd get a fright. It made me really uneasy until the day I crossed the road in a slightly different place and realised it was the shadow created by a street light and a bent road sign. In my defence, I do have quite bad eyesight.


Anonymous said...

"Perfectly engineered to be eaten off the fingers of five-year-olds at parties." Just what sort of parties do you go to, where five-year-olds lounge around bedecked in Hula Hoops? (And can I come along?)

Miss Jones said...

Parties for five-year-olds, when I was five years old, you weirdo!