|The Last Napkin
Author: Artemis Brewski PM
The story of the last, lonely napkin in the bottom of the napkin package and his journey from the factory to your house. Will he complete his mission?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Words: 850 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 04-17-12 - id: 3014198
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The scene: a napkin factory. The machines spin, fold, stamp, and pack huge rolls of paper products into the final product and ultimate goal of everyone in the plant - a napkin.
What starts out as a giant roll of "one big happy family" fibrous material has now been manhandled and twisted into individual one or two-ply squares of mouth-wiping cloth. Each napkin says goodbye to his community of raw paper and now gets packed like a sardine in plastic with 199 other napkins for their journey to the distribution outlet, grocery store, and eventually your home.
But think about the last little napkin at the bottom of the pack. Poor little guy is squished tightly at the very end of the napkin train with his butt exposed to the world. Sure, the guy at the top is exposed, too, but at least he can see where he's going.
You might think that the ones in the middle have it worse since they just stare at the napkin in front of them and are getting squished from behind by the rest of the pack. But when they are packed into a larger box with other packs of napkins, the last napkin is now on the bottom, feeling the weight of the other 199 napkins. Right in his face.
Eventually they make it to the grocery store, super mart, pharmacy, or other store that will put the napkin pack on the shelf with other packs. Again, the last napkin's butt is proudly displayed for all to see. How embarrassing. Without having to strain too much, the last napkin is still able to see a little to his right or left. Too much trying to stare in one direction without moving his head gets to be a real pain in the brain though.
Yay! Today is the day! A nice young woman of mid-thirtiesh grabs the last napkin's pack. Too bad for the middle guys. They are getting squeezed and shmushed while the last napkin sits back and laughs. Whoops, spoke too soon. A two liter bottle of Coke just landed on the pack. "Hey, quit pushing!" They're all going to have headaches after this.
Finally the pack makes it back to the house. It is days before any napkin gets a breath of fresh air. Finally someone rips open the pack and grabs a handful of napkins. Later fellas! The top napkin and his posse are off to the napkin holder. Tonight is spaghetti so all of their training will pay off for sure. Especially since this house has three kids under seven years old.
A week later and the last napkin is still in the pack. He and his buddies talk about what kinds of food they think they are going to be experiencing. Pizza? Meatloaf? Maybe a nice shrimp scampi with a real drippy garlic butter sauce? Oh, if only wishes could come true. Or maybe they will get to be a not-so-quicker-picker-upper when someone spills a glass of milk. And the chances of that are pretty high with pre-schoolers around.
The day is almost here. The last napkin has spent weeks preparing for his one big performance. The last group has been tasked for duty and put in the napkin container. Crap. He's on the bottom again. Well, not so bad this time. He's used to it. One by one his buddies get called into duty: mac and cheese, cupcakes, lasagna (that one had a lot of his friends working hard), some spilled grape juice, tartar sauce.
There are now only a handful - let's see, one, two, three, four - napkins ahead of him ready to wipe up, clean, or get tossed into the trash like a three point shot from the line. Dinner time. The last napkin is ready. It's gonna be a good day, too. Chili and grilled cheese. Bound to be plenty of beans, sauce, or chuncks of ground beef splattered all over the table, floor, shirts, and mouths.
Oops...someone knocked over their milk. Go figure. Yes! A big glop of chili just fell on Bobby's shirt. Woo hoo! That glop made it to the table and even some on the floor. Looks like a multiple-napkin job for sure. Now there's only one napkin left. The last napkin.
Wait. Where's she going? The lady that manhandled the napkin squadron just a week or so ago just went in the basement. Oh no. Another pack of napkins. What is she doing? Is she opening up that pack? But there's still one left! Wait...don't forget about...
The last napkin is now 51st in line. A brand new bunch of recruits smashes the last napkin. If he could cry he would. All that training. All of the preparation. For what? A week later, the same story. When will it end?
The last napkin has finally accepted his mission. He's the last napkin. That's his job. And he does it well.