February 22, 2017

A Story About Bottles

The pile of empty glass bottles in the garage was starting to overflow its box, so I decided it was time to drop it off at the recycling point on my way to work. I placed the box in the otherwise-empty boot of the car, and was on my way.

While taking a right turn on a mini roundabout, I heard an almighty cacophony from behind me, the sound of two hundred glass bottles hurling themselves around and shattering into a million dangerous shards. I saw pedestrians turning their heads at the racket, cars ploughing into each other, distracted cyclists riding full-tilt into bollards and going flying over their handlebars, a murder of crows taking flight.

As I continued to drive, I imagined the scene that would confront me when I arrived. A jagged layer of sparkling glass pieces, nothing even remotely recognisable as once a bottle, with an empty black plastic box resting on top. Maybe it would be easiest just to sell the car, hope that the buyer never opens the boot until I’m long gone.

I pulled into the recycling area, a troubling lack of sound coming from the terror that lurked in the back. With a wince, braced for the worst, I opened the boot, to find…

…a box full of perfectly well-behaved empty glass bottles, and two stray bottles next to it.


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