It was a very hot day, and Billy had never had to jump so far before. He soon grew very tired. He stopped to rest on the side of the road.
“Hullo!” came the call from the middle of the quiet road. Billy snapped to attention. Who on earth had said that? He peered out into the road to see a friendly soft drink bottle sitting patiently on the asphalt.
“Why hullo!” Billy said. “What are you doing out here?”
“My owner threw me here after he had sucked out all of my insides.” Replied the friendly little bottle.
That’s horrible!” Billy exclaimed.
“It’s not so bad. It’s actually kind of comfortable. Being that the author is currently void of syntactic imagination, my name is Nelly. What’s yours?” She asked.
“Billy” He replied. “And I’m very happy to meet you, Nelly. Will you be my friend?”
“Of course.” Chirped Nelly. “Why are you out hopping along the road all on your own on such a hot day Billy?”
“I’m on my way to the Recycling Plant. I am going to turn into a beautiful mirror.” Billy enthused.
Nelly snorted. “But Billy, you are just an ugly little beer bottle!” She laughed, “You can’t expect to be more than you are. That would be silly!”
Billy was dismayed, but being a bottle of naturally cheerful demeanour, recovered quickly.
“No.” He insisted “I will be beautiful one day, just wait and see, Nelly. I hope that we are still friends then, and I can show you how beautiful a little beer bottle can be!” Suddenly, he grew very excited. “You should come with me! We will have such fun. It will be a wonderful adventure!”
Nelly laughed again. “Oh Billy, you are a lovely beer bottle! But this is my fate. My owner has cast me here and it is my lot to accept.”
“No, no!” Argued Billy “You can be so much more. You can be anything you want, all you have to do is believe! Isn’t there anything in the world you’d rather be or do? Anything at all?”
“We-ell–“ Nelly began, but was promptly cut off as she was run over by a four wheel drive, and squashed flat onto the road.
“Oh dear!” Exclaimed Billy. “What a mess!”
Having rested now, he moved quickly on his way, hopping ever closer to the recycling plant.
Soon it was nearly night, and Billy had to have a sleep. In the distance, he spied a very impressive castle. It had many levels and a big, bright sign outside it saying: “Pub and Bistro. No rubber soled thongs (1). No shorts. No foul language.”. Billy stopped for a moment. He did not know what rubber soled thongs, shorts, or foul languages were. Oh, how he wished his friend Frank the goat were here! He shed a brief tear as he cast his memory upon all of his friends and family back at the home brewery. He missed them all terribly! But Billy knew he had to stay strong. He had made the decision to become a beautiful mirror, and that was exactly what he would do. He could go back and visit them all when he was beautiful. They were going to be ever so impressed! And then Billy would be able to regale Frank with his own tales of adventures and the outside world. Frank would be so glad to hear them all. Despite being made of glass, Billy steeled himself, and kept jumping towards the happy looking Pub and Bistro Castle. Surely they would let him rest there. They could not turn down a tired little bottle, even if he may or may not, definitions pending, have rubber soled thongs, shorts, and/or foul language.
But as he grew closer, Billy got a nasty surprise! All across the footpath in front of the castle lay the twisted, broken and mangled corpses of other little beer bottles! Why, some were even from Billy’s own brewery. He remembered them from the production queue! And worse, the footpath was teaming with large male (2) humans with… Billy peered closer. It couldn’t be. But it was… Kebab wrappers!!!
“Oh no!” He exclaimed “Bogans! This is a Bogan Castle!”(2 again)
Very alarmed and frightened, Billy quickly turned to hop away, but was too late. He had been seen.
“Why hullo little beer bottle!” came a deep human male voice “What is a defenceless little beer bottle like yourself doing out here all alone?”
“Ummmm” Billy stuttered
“Come here! I’ll be your friend!” A large human hand reached towards him. Billy knew the Bogan King was only trying to trick him with the promises of friendship, but he could not hop out of the way. He was frozen with terror! Fortunately, the owner of the hand was temporarily in a state of ethanol-induced poor coordination, and he missed (3). Billy whimpered. The hand was coming back. Straight at him. This time it would not miss. The whole world around Billy seemed, for a moment, to move very very slowly. He prepared himself as best he could, and desperately tried to think happy thoughts of all the good times he had had at the brewery. Thoughts of Frank, of his brothers and sisters, of the beautiful mirror and how it had enchanted him, and then, suddenly,
“Aaaaaaaaaaargh!?!” The obnoxious human made a terrible noise and crumpled to the floor, clutching at his middle parts. “Damn bloody kebabs!” He groaned. “I swear they looked okay at the time!”
Billy sighed with relief, and quickly hopped away to safety. That had been very close indeed! He got as far away from the Bogan Pub and Bistro Castle as he could before collapsing with exhaustion on the roadside. He curled up (insofar as a glass bottle is able), and went to sleep.
That night, Billy dreamed wonderful dreams of being a beautiful glass mirror. Through his dreams, he thought he heard a human female voice.
“Oh look at that poor little beer bottle!” He could have sworn he heard it say “All alone in the cold and dark night. I wonder if he has a home? I must take to my home and get him safe out of the cold.”
TO BE CONTINUED………..
(1) For those international readers who find the idea of rubber soled thongs to be offensive reading, the author seeks to bridge the cultural barrier and clarify:
Thong (n): (Picture unavailable) A type of Australian native open-toed footwear. Often donned in warmer weather because of their vast and effective ventilating capacity. Frequently purchased and seen in the wild as a pair, but may also appear singularly, particularly after an inebriated night on the town.
Structure: Often composed of rubber or other cost effective polymers. A single, flat sole, similar in shape to the underside of the human foot. A raised, triple-branched (approximately equidistantly) polymer structure, meets and is attached to the sole at three points, one at the end of each branch. In the working model, the human foot is placed on top of the sole and thebase of the foremost branch of the upper polymer structure is used to separate the big toe from the toe next to it. The rest of the upper polymer structure lies across the top of the foot. This bi-toed grip around the trunk of the upper polymer structure holds the thong to the foot. Usually. In a manner of speaking.
To those non-international readers who still find the idea of rubber soled thongs offensive, or who are offended by being made to feel deliberately excluded from an entire footnote based on the fact that a particular cultural or linguistic barrier does not apply to them, the author wishes to advise that you just need to get a thicker skin.
(2) This was just Billy’s observation through a naive bottle perception. The author is well aware that entry to and expenditure of time in a pub are in no way gender dependent (nor are they socio-economic, education or class-dependent, to expand for the second reference to this footnote, a bit further down in the main body of text.). In fact the author spends rather a lot of time in pubs herself, as a modern, human female. Possibly a little too much time, according to the current medical literature.
(3) That’s right kiddies. Because we all know that our nervous system functions are depressed, and we do sometimes very permanent neurological damage when we drink too many little beer bottles, don’t we? (4)
(4) Well, that’s what the current medical literature states anyway. The author wishes to advise that the recent medical literature is no fun. And anyway, some (although not necessarily the author, who refuses to commit either way in writing) believe that nervous system function is overrated. Screw the current medical literature! (in the opinion of some. Although not necessarily the author).