In a remarkable but unimaginative feat of alliteration by the author, Billy was a beer bottle. He lived in a little brewery in a far-off land called Tasmania with his five brothers and sisters in their little cardboard house. Billy was a bubbly little beer bottle, and was very happy indeed living with his friends and siblings in the brewery.

One day, Billy was sitting in his little house with all his brothers and sisters, when he noticed something very curious. When the shift had ended for the day, all of the human factory workers went home (because this was a well-unionised factory, despite the writing of this piece occurring at such a time when society was riding on the inhumane tailcoats of a certain right-wing government’s Industrial Relations reforms and bureaucratic, paper-based anti-unionist massacres). Anyway, one of the workers had left something behind on the floor. It seemed to be a piece of glass just like Billy, and yet was so much prettier! Billy stared at it in fascination. It seemed to capture evrything around it! The beautiful light from the roof reflected out of it, the stunning greens and blues from the trees and sky outside the window, why, Billy could even see himself in it if he leaned close enough. It was wonderful!

“What a clever piece of glass! Isn’t it just lovely?” he exclaimed.

“It is lovely.” Replied his brothers and sisters, “But it is not for us to concern ourselves with. We are soon to be taken to our new homes where we will live short but happy lives in the fridges of bogans (1), and eventually contribute to or result in drink-driving, domestic abuse, streaking at sporting matches, drinking of entire bottles of tabasco sauce with the intent of winning a dare, and/or digestive tract abuse with kebabs that really looked okay at the time.”

“But it is beautiful and so clever!” Insisted Billy “I am glass too. Why can’t I be beautiful and clever just like it? Surely there is more to life than the fridges of bogans(2) and kebabs!”

In a bold move by the author away from alliteration and towards cheap rhyme, Billy’s brothers and sisters replied: “Oh Billy, don’t be silly!”, and they all giggled and went on carbonating and anticipating their new homes.

But Billy was a thoughtful little bottle and he just couldn’t shake the idea. He wanted to be beautiful just like the glass on the floor, and he knew that he could be if he could only find the way.

The next morning, Billy’s friend Frank the goat stuck his head through the brewery window. Frank was a very wise goat who wandered the brewery grounds and ate the washing, but liked to stick his head in every now and then on a hot afternoon. None of the other bottles would talk to Frank, as this would often result in their premature ingestion, but Billy loved Frank. He would always sit and listen, riveted, to the goat’s bleated tales of the outside world. Today, Billy asked Frank about the beautiful glass.

“Why Billy, that’s a mirror.” Answered Frank. “Humans use it to see themselves.”

“But why, when it can be used to show so much prettier things?” Billy pondered.

“Humans believe it makes them beautiful. They are strange creatures, Billy.” Quipped the quadruped.

“They sure are.” Billy considered this “But Frank, do you think that one day I may beautiful too, just like that glass?”

“Why of course!” Frank replied. “For a start, in order to fulfill my character position as the encouraging friend who prompts you to strive for your dreams, I am required to tell you that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”

“Hooray!” Said Billy

“But also,” The goat continued, “In this environmentally conscious age, humans have decided to implement, far too late in the opinion of this level-headed goat, a fashion called ‘sustainability’.”

“Sustainability?” Billy repeated.

“Yes. You see, humans have spent decades pumping the air full of harmful chemicals to the point where the planet’s average temperature is raising at a rate by which it will soon become uninhabitable to all carbon-based life as we know it. While this is happening, they are also pulling down all the life-sustaining forests they can find, which further contributes to the warming crisis through emissions from machinery and depletion of oxygen-producing organisms.”

“Oh!” Exclaimed Billy.

“Indeed. And they also slaughter entire species of wldlife en masse, and pile up harmful waste in areas of natural beauty. However, a small and unintelligent group of humans that run the world, known to other humans in human language as: ‘Those Arseholes’ , got together a while ago and decided that the way they could make everyone believe they were fixing all of this was by ‘Recycling’. Most humans seem satisfied with this, despite the fact that it burns yet more atmospherically harmful chemicals and wastes massive amounts of precious and rapidly depleting water at the collection and processing points.”(3)

“But what is Recycling?” Wondered Billy.

“Well,” replied Frank, “This is where we arrive at the part of interest to you, my fermented friend. Humans are able to take one glass thing and turn it into another.”

Billy exclaimed with surprise. “You mean they could turn me into a beautiful mirror?!”

“Now you’ve got it!” co-enthused the goat.

“Well I must do this…Recycle!” Billy was terribly excited now. “Where do they perform the ceremony?”

“At a recycling plant.” Frank answered. “There is one nearby, about five blocks North.”

“Then off I go!”

And with that, Billy said goodbye to all of his brewery friends, and hopped out of his little cardboard house and into the world to find a better life.

“Good luck!” Called Frank, and went back to gnawing on some underwear on the washing line


(1)To those poised to type abusive messages alluding to the fact that consumption of beer is rightfully independent of socio-economic status, class or education, please note that these are misconceptions held only by the foolish and fictional beer bottle masses in the story. The author enjoys beer herself, and does not share in these misconceptions. They are solely presented as a literary tool in the plot, being instrumental to the impending self-realisation planned by the author to eventually be reached by Billy. These prejudices will in fact be fully acknowledged and argued down in later chapters. To those poised to type abusive messages alluding to the fact that all people are equal and should not be divisible by socio-economic status, class or education, and that the word ‘bogan’ should not even exist let alone be acknowledged in text in this piece of writing, the author wishes to advise that she agrees completely, but that doesn’t make for terribly good writing. And anyway, it’s the beer bottles’ views, not hers.

(2)See first asterisked point.

(3)To those recycling enthusiasts who may be reading, Frank the goat openly acknowledges that recycling has immeasurable benefits in the current environmental crisis we face. He does not in any way suggest that it is bad thing or should not exist. Frank simply aims here to infer that it is just not the ultimate solution that governments peddle it as, in face of the magnitude of the crisis. He would tentatively suggest that resources need to be poured into a more aggressive search for environmentally friendly fuels, forest plantations, and other such potential contributions to a planet that may actually be able to sustain life in a hundred years or so (and by this, he means actual serious action, not just saying they’re doing it and then spending the tax payers’ money on first class tickets to important meetings in Fiji and Hawaii). Frank asserts that environmental salvation lies in an action cocktail, not simply a token gesture that amounts to an approximate piss in the ocean. Further to this, the author wishes to dissociate herself completely from Frank, and point out here that as an idividual creature on this planet (however fictional), he is entitled to his own independent views.


Rebekah  Anderson

Joined November 2008

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