Clearing out the Plastic Cupboard

We have a special place at home that we call the ‘plastic cupboard’. It is so named because this is where we keep all the tubs and containers that we have yet failed to throw away. I am not sure what it is about plastic but it seems to have a life of its own. The knives and forks are obedient as they sit waiting in the cutlery draw. The plates and dishes follow all the rules and stay where they are put. The plastic items seem to wait for any opportunity to dash for freedom as soon as the door is opened.

On occasions when it happens I mutter under my breath and blame the children for not caring when they put things away, but I know that my complaint is irrational. ‘Nothing is put away properly in this house’ I say, exaggerating beyond all proportion.

This one day I decided to complain no long. It was time to clear out the cupboard and start things over afresh. With Jonathon Ross for company on the radio I sat down and pulled out all the items separating them into neat piles of similar product.

Soon, through a clearing in the synthetic material, I spied what I was later to understand as the cause of our cupboard problems. Here lay, as if awaiting a special fate, all of the items that we have bought over the years and only used a few times. You know what I am talking about! There was a clean white bread maker that had served us well with the production of a fine brown loaf that we ate hot with melted butter. The problem was that after consumption we were all too tired to clean up the flour and yeast mess that remained. There was an ice crusher, a smoothie maker and slow cooker that all had a similar fate. I swear I even saw Davy Jones’ locker but it slipped out of my hands at the last moment.

I displayed my treasure on the kitchen table along with a Tupperware cake stand, an electric corkscrew and a vegetable slicer with two detachable blades. Calling the whole family in I told them all to take one last look at these precious items before they were relocated to the thrift shop down the road.

With excited noises they examined and remembered. When our youngest daughter suggested we had one last go with the bread maker I reminded her of how the kitchen looked like a scene from Narnia after we had used it last time. She soon retreated back to watch Americas Next Top Modelling Idol or whatever it is called.

‘Why do we keep buying items like this’ I asked my wife hoping that she knew the answers to such profound mysteries. ‘We have more money than sense and we haven’t got a lot of either’ she said as she went to join the girls engrossed in unreality TV.

I recall the day that my wife bought the aforementioned cake stand. Now, you have to remember we had a household of six and often would feed eight or nine at meal times, if you include visitors. My wife returned from the Tupperware party without giving any details of the items that she ordered. It was only a few days later that the goods arrived and she opened the packet to reveal a yellow and green article for the storage and display of all manner of patisserie. ‘But we are lucky if cake last 5 minutes in this house, let alone long enough to keep and display any of it’ I exclaimed. We dutifully used it once and then it was hidden away. After that I seemed to see one at every car boot sale that I visited giving me comfort that we weren’t the only family to fall for such marketing.

I boxed the offending articles ready for transportation to their new home and carefully placed all the plastic items back in the cupboard. With amazement I saw that I had reduced the cupboard load by half leaving plenty of room for the toasted sandwich maker we would no doubt buy on our next shopping expedition.