Thursday, November 3, 2011

SCALP IT

Herewith a quote from Angela Thirkell’s 1958 novel, Close Quarters:
     “Plastic!” said Captain Gresham with deep scorn. “And Pink.”
      “You’ll have to get used to it, darling,” said his wife. “The kitchen garbage tin is plastic now and so is the big washing-up basin and that red broom with red bristles that you admired. And Lady Graham’s housemaid’s new teeth, because she told me so.”
      “You can’t even get an anagram out of Plastic,” said Captain Gresham, happy to discover a new grievance.
     Everyone at once tried to get an anagram, the only one approximating to a possible hit being SCALP IT, which was ruled out by John Leslie as unfair because it ought to be one word.
I’d spent much of my day yesterday studying the subject of plastics for a project—in course of which I’d noted the sudden and rather awesome explosion of plastics into the world after World War II. Thus reading that passage in the evening, I experienced it as a “meaningful coincidence.” Or was it just a case of plastics’ ubiquity?

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