May 2024, 1st: Hanging About

Us plastic clothes pegs all lived in an outdoor hanging basket. We lived in harmony and we
had our pride. We knew that, yes, we were getting old and that many of us were dropping off
the perch, literally. But we were a family. We hung clothes together; we hung around in the
peg basket together. Basically we hung.
Because we were exposed to the elements we aged rapidly. But by gosh could we hang
those clothes that the humans wore. Ridiculous stuff, yes, but we hung it until every last drop
of moisture was gone. Hell, we were good!
Then it happened. One of the humans brought a new batch of pegs. This was an affront to
our abilities and our purpose in life. Yes, we were aging and our central spring would often
snap and bits of us would break off, but by golly, we could do the job. As I said, we had our
What was disconcerting was that the new plastic pegs looked stronger and threatening.
When we were younger our colours looked bright and happy; a vivid combination of reds,
blues, whites and yellows. But this new lot, well, they seemed so dull and aggressive looking.
Most of them were camouflaged greens and blues. Oh, they were ugly!
They were a threat as well. One of the pleasures of the day was to hang about on the
washing line holding up a pair of socks or a brightly coloured tea towel or even the much
converted red underpants. It’s a glorious experience hanging there, being overly useful. Birds
would flitter by and sometimes crap on you, but, hey, what a great life. But not anymore. The
new pegs had muscled in. Suddenly, they were hanging about and we older, more feeble
pegs, were left in the basket. This was a massive blow to our prestige and our pride.
The big question was how were we to survive in this new paradigm? Our unelected leader,
the peg with the most charisma, was Big Yellow. He was the last of his batch of yellow
plastic pegs. All the others had fallen off the perch and been trashed in the big green plastic
thing with a big floppy lid that was wheeled out once a week by a human and plonked by the
roadside. Big Yellow was our one big hope.
‘We’ve got to get on top in the basket,’ he implored one night when all the new pegs were asleep.
‘The humans are all lazy; they just reach in and grab the nearest peg. So we must get on top,’ he said.
He was right. So that night, we wiggled and squirmed our way to the top of the basket
while the lazy, good for nothing new pegs slept. Amazingly, we did it without waking the
slumbering new comers.
The next morning, bright and early, a human emerged from the back door carrying a basket
of wet stuff. Like Big Yellow predicted, the human reached into the peg basket and grabbed
the first peg. Within ten minutes all of us oldies were hanging about, proudly holding up the
wet clothing. The plan had worked. Big Yellow himself had gone solo, holding up, all
by himself, a wet handkerchief. His strength amazed us all. And back in the peg basket the
new comers glared at us in anger and frustration. Our honour and pride had been restored.
Then it happened. Just when all seemed so beautiful in the aged plastic peg world, Big
Yellow croaked it. The strain of holding up the massive weight of the white handkerchief was
too much. Big Yellow’s spring had snapped and in two parts he cascaded to the ground.
In a sort of tribute the white handkerchief fluttered to the ground and partly covered one piece
of Big Yellow’s now lifeless, plastic body.
This didn’t go unnoticed by the younger pegs. Slowly, emerging from the pack in the
basket was a large, muscular red peg, a peg we oldies hadn’t noticed before. Clearly this peg
meant business. With Big Yellow now deceased, and laying in two chunks on the pavement
beneath us, we all inwardly cringed.
The new pegs had pride too. The last thing they wanted was to be ridiculed by us older
lags. Fear was now in the air and increasing as time approached for the human to venture
forth and de-peg the clothing and toss us all back into the now dreaded and feared peg basket.
This story has no happy ending. That night we oldies were violently pushed to the bottom
of the basket. The new pegs, pride restored, all worshiped the new master of the peg basket,
Big Red. From now on, life in the peg basket would be hell!

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