Breaking News: Invasion in Tupperware Zone

Great advances have been made in the War on Noise aboard Zephyrus in
recent weeks. This can mostly be attributed to the total invasion, and
subsequent evacuation, of the corner cupboard in the galley, previously
better known as the Cupboard of Plastic Doom.

This last stronghold of anarchy has always been home to unwanteds and
undesirables, indeed its cavernous nature and difficult access
specifically attracted such retrobates. Before long, the governing
parties nominally in charge of this no-go zone rebranded it 'Tupperware
Cupboard' in the vague hope that this might instil a sense of order and
pride amongst residents. All who lived within, however, could see the
facade, further acknowledged by the fact that said Governors never dared
visit the region beyond a cursory look through the access door (that
sits high above all the residents even in the rockiest of seas), always
accompanied by a look of resignation and defeat.

Inside The Void, as it is known to locals, plastic tubs of all sizes
rolled and slid amongst glass jars (some with ancestry amongst purveyors
of fine jams no less), numerous thermos flasks (each with a single
defect), mixing bowls of various materials and sizes, rusting sieves, a
set of four multi-coloured plastic espresso cups, with saucers, and a
wide array of lids who lost their pots many moons ago.

To add insult to injury, The Void is the last remaining 'indoor' space
that oceanic salt water can still access. The Governors were well aware
of the situation but only ever took cosmetic action: the corners into
the cockpit have been re-sealed three times since the boat's refit but
only ever from the outside, testament indeed to the Governors dismissal
and fear of entering The Void itself. The entry of seawater was also the
reason why this region was designated fit only for plastic unwanteds in
the first place: all items of greater value to the Governors being
given, of course, homes in the dry. The resultant sticky salt layer that
coats all Void residents is the reason for their derogatory nickname,
'The Crusties'.

Something must have changed amongst the Governance as, one fateful day
in late July, a full call to order and inspection was implemented,
without prior notice. All inhabitants were force-marched out of their
homes, scrubbed with fresh water, and lined up in a parade. Those
parties deemed 'space-wasters and noise-makers' were broken, donated, or
sent to a Polynesian landfill site. All glass jars fit this description
barring those deemed useful as future paint pots. These were instantly
re-labelled and re-housed amongst the hardware department, a department
already so over-crowded that there is zero possibility of any objects
rolling around or clinking as the boat rocks and lollops. Lids without
bases, however, had no such possibility for re-branding and survival.

Unbeknownst to the Crusties, a similar scrub-out had occurred the day
before in 'Herb and Spice Land', just upstairs from Plastic Doom but
much more accessible to any chef. Due to its accessibility and pride of
place, popular celebrities were often found in this area despite their
official home being in the bilge or under a bed. The Governors pretended
to scold them but a particular blind eye was turned to night snack
celebrities such as honey, marmite, and peanut butter. However, their
illegitimate presence in what was a designated 'dry zone' rapidly led to
a particularly unpleasant and tenacious mixture of salt, honey,
linseeds, and dried active yeast coating several surfaces and vessels
within this space. Once discovered, the Governors decided to introduce a
New Order in the region and immediately passed the Munchies Bill that
allowed special priveleges to 'sweet delights' on the grounds that
'opening the bilge during nightshift disturbs sleeping patterns and is
dangerous'.

Outrage by less popular items still relegated to the bilge (soy sauce,
pickles, mustard, and pesto to name a few), chiefly led by Nutella,
mango jam, and Vegemite who assumed they would be nightshift desirables,
resulted in the term 'sweet delights' being changed to 'items essential
to nightshift contentment', thus allowing for inclusion of marmite, Ritz
crackers, and the changing whims of the Governance. The Bill was
immediately passed by Health and Safety, with no questions asked, and
remains in force today.

The combined effect of Herb and Spice Zone being cleansed, and the
passing of the [amended] Munchies Bill, led to creation of specific new
homes for all night-shift celebrities who had previously only had
squatters rights in this region. Power took to their heads and they
demanded not only legitimate homes in this area, but the prime
positions, subsequently rehousing previous favourites such as fruit
teas, a box of wasabi, and a huge tin of Argentine 'mate' tea that, the
Governors had to admit, were rarely accessed these days. That Order had
been created in the days when Voyaging was but a theory, and items
naively stowed according to a system of food-type (teas, herbs, spices,
condiments…) rather than food popularity. The new system would make
little sense to an outside observer (peanut butter next to ginger paste
and vanilla essence) but is somewhat intuitive to its primary users.

The reorganisation of Herb and Spice Land gave the Governors, especially
she in charge of the action, a disproportionate sense of achievement and
satisfaction. But there was one remaining discomfort: the actions
occurred in the tranquility and stability of a calm bay. So thorough had
the evacuations been that this area was now comfortably uncluttered,
tidy even, as one might hope for a cupboard on land. A boat moves,
however, and it was clear that just one day sailing would instantly send
all the newly arranged articles soaring first to one end of the
cupboard, and then the other.

Which was when, coincidentally, the Crusties were invaded, washed, and
marched to parole.

Rather than return the select few deemed 'keepers' to their cavernous
hole, all Crusties were relocated, much to their dismay. Thermos flasks,
metal bowls, and a steel coffee pot were sent to the engine-side of Herb
and Spice Land, which regularly overheated and melted any foodstuffs in
this region. They were primarily chosen as space holders rather than
objects of desire but enjoy their new promotion and warmth greatly. All
remaining plastic items have been squeezed into other holes (mostly
between the spirit bottles), where there is less potential for creating
clatter.

Today the only remaining official inhabitant of the former Cupboard of
Plastic Doom is one large plastic mixing bowl that fits nowhere else,
has a rubberised base, and sits on a no-slip mat. Already new retrobates
have started arriving, however, such as a plastic jar that used to
contain nuts, and a large sieve. They all understand that they can stay
indefinitely, as long as they remain quiet, and all enjoy the solitude
and expansiveness not available anywhere else on the boat.

And at night? The boat is quiet. No more the sound of plastic and glass
flying around and clanging into each other. No more the swooshing from
side to side of collective objects moving as one across a painted wooden
floor. At night, on their off-watch, the Governors sleep, undisturbed by
the sounds of entropy from within and beyond. The only interruptions to
their rest now are due to the start of crazy multi-coloured dreams, but
that's another story….

One thought on “Breaking News: Invasion in Tupperware Zone

  1. What revolution! Think you should hurry to these shores. Australian political system on brink (if not already submerged) in chaos. Needs help from the likes of the Governors and she who is in charge of the action.

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