Of Plastic Films and Profound Realizations

The other day, I found myself sitting at a back-ish row in an ecology class at my engineering college on brand new furniture that my college had procured. As the professor, clicking her leather shoes as she walked around the class, droned about how environmental education was all about creating responsible citizens, I once again found myself doing something else. Reading “The best of O’Henry”.

Behold the laddy as he scrambles through the pages of that good ol’ bathroom TV, he would have written.

The overwhelmingly boring atmosphere eventually managed to snuff out O’Henry’s words, which, for the record, put up a valiant fight despite being more than a hundred years old. I soon found myself switching focus from the bathroom TV to the plastic film wrapped around the furniture in front of me. Like all other plastic films, it was screaming “TEAR ME OFF”.

So I did exactly that, my fingers reaching for the plastic, tugging at it, making it thinner than a size zero plastic sheet model (If they have them in the plastic sheet world) as I smugly watched it become a victim of its own stretch-ability, its agony while rending prolonged. Then I grabbed what had become the bereaved, new end of the film and did the same. And I wound down till I reached the last bit of plastic film, that had half its remaining length wrapped around the foot of the chair and the other half peeking out quite elegantly, just long enough to tempt; yet just short enough to not have its attachment to the chair questioned by every gust of air that the windows may allow to pass.

My boredom eventually led to the invasion of the classroom by irresistibly cute plastic-film jellyfish that floated all around, holding everyone in a spell.

Plastic it was, looking more alive than anything or anyone else in the room. And when it landed on someone, it gave just as much joy as would a butterfly on the brightest day of spring. And when someone gently blew it away, giving it wind beneath its wings, it would float away with abandon, glimmering in the light, not caring if it would land on the tip of the needle of a compass or on the palm of an admirer.

Time froze. Or flew. I’m really not sure. But what I do know is that we didn’t hear of how many years it would take to decompose, or just how toxic it was to animals. We heard of the beauty of everything, all the myriad manifestations of the stuff of our planet. And we well and truly appreciated it.

It had taken plastic film to kill hypocrisy in an environment class. Hardly ironic, if you think hard enough.

There are few things as pleasurable in the universe to a human being as destroying/vandalizing/tearing/ruining without consequences. Tearing off plastic films is the mother of all “gasm”s. But that is quite beside the point, don’t you think?

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