Me and my lucky underwear
If these walls could talk, what would they say? As they are plastered their speech would probably be slurred and we’d have difficulty understanding them. But why is that phrase limited to just the walls? Why can’t we imagine other objects having a voice? I do. Frequently.
Apart from being a damn satisfying word to vocalise, anthropomorphising is the act of giving a human personality to non-human things. Think Disney movies, like Fantasia and Beauty and the Beast. Now this may seem like fun, however, there is a down side to being perspicaciously personificatious - I very rarely throw anything away.
“Please don’t get rid of Steve,” I plead to my girlfriend “Steve is my favourite mug. He and I have shared so many coffees together.”
But - alas - he is laid to rest in the bin. I have dropped Steve on his head too many times and despite his protests he can’t seem to hold his fluids as much as he used to. “Don’t worry Steve,” I say, “You’ll always be my Number 1. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes…”
As children, we all played with toys, giving names to teddy bears and dolls and dragging them through hell and back. I and many other people still have their first teddy bear, even though its white fur has since been soiled to brown as it suffered years of being dragged through dirt, subjected to tea parties and slobbered on by the dog.
If the Toy Story movies have taught us anything it is that when we are not around, toys have a life of their own and go on crazy adventures without us ever knowing. As we grow up, we abandon the toys and start to label things “lucky” as a way of giving objects sentiment.
My lucky backpack, my lucky lotto ticket, lucky jocks - we all know that men hold onto their underwear until it is nothing left but a slither of cotton hanging off a tatty piece of elastic. If men’s underwear could talk they would probably say, “Please wash me and then leave me to die in peace”. Why do men have such a reluctance to let go of Rio, Mr. Bonds or Calvin?
Some would call it laziness but I like to think it’s because they have been with us through momentous occasions. Calvin was there when I needed him most, when I got that job, got married, when I soiled myself on that rollercoaster. So you end up giving him a proper burial in a shoebox underneath the lemon tree. You cry at the time, but you’ll always have those memories.
So what if it wasn’t limited to the walls, mugs or jocks – what if shoes, cars, chairs, pens and body parts could talk? Oh, the stories they would tell.
Imagine, for a second, you are Prince Charles’ ear, you spend your days flapping in the wind and catching complaints that the rest of him is not his mother. Think of the secrets you would know, the flattery you would hear.
You are with him all the time, on the toilet, when he has a shower, when Camilla nibbles on you. If that is not a thought you wish to ponder perhaps you can imagine you were something else; Barack Obama’s wrist watch for example. He looks at you like no other and always wishes you would give him more time. Think of all the secrets being listened to by different objects throughout the world.
This Orwellian notion is a scary thought and perhaps, given the decline of privacy, it is just better if these walls don’t talk. But I have no problem, for now, with them listening in.
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