Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Salt & Pepper: The Chronicles of Barry Pepper

It had been two weeks since a drowsy Barry Pepper had went to bed in his Sun Valley residence, only to awake as a condiment on the table of a lower middle-class family just south of London. He found it difficult at first to adapt; politics on that rectangular furnishing had evolved over many years of internal wrangling and prolonged colloquiums. In fact, Barry had come along at a time when relations between different factions were at their most amicable in ages, with the continuous hostilities receiving an anodyne hit from the pacifistic and liberalistic spoon group that had immigrated recently from Ikea. This condiment armistice had injected cutlery meetings, the beginnings of a mustard union and the initiative of constructing a parliament using placemats into the kitchenette microcosm.

But Barry Pepper’s sudden emergence on the scene caused a great upheaval. First of all he insulted the esteemed ketchup chief on his first lunch shift by conceitedly commuting himself in front of the crimson titan, and thus being chosen to exfoliate on the patriarch’s mid-day munchings, rather than the habitual tomato sauce. Then Barry, considering himself elevated above the petty duties of the population, shunned the tartar sauce when it attempted to inform him of the time it had an intimate moment with a halibut. The forks too gleamed contempt off towards Barry after they saw him preening himself on the back of a spoon.

It wasn’t all bad for the Hollywood actor however; he did manage to strike up an alliance with the reliable salt. Salt was a vet of the ways of the table; his soothing words were all that prevented a good shucking to Barry on a number of occasions. His conciliatory mores were determined to guide the naïve thespian away from the sort of gangland brawls that’d domesticate The Warriors, and towards the type of civility notably absent from his smirking visage. But the dangling prima-donna pooka that constituted Barry Pepper’s mind found such civic commitments troublesome to take on board.

Daily life on the dining redwood proved relatively easy compared to the hectic filmic chores he was used to. The day consisted of a trio of bustling frenzies, in which every condiment put aside their various disagreements (at least ostensibly) to serve the needs and desires of the familial unit. Contrasted with the oft-vitriolic diatribes that circulated at the table assemblies, the family’s nonchalant chatter acted as a bukkake of relief for Barry. The unoriginal troupe of husband, wife, son and daughter would sit at dinnertime - the most vibrant of the daily trio - and retch out the memories of what they did that day. The most commonplace occurrences slightly tinged a different hue would be regurgitated in an amazing feat of remembrance, a sensuous massaging of the cognitive recall function. This all intermixed with a dose of safe and pointless verbiage dedicated to the weather and whatever food is being consumed. Executed with astounding regimentation at a clockwork level of intricacy, it rarely failed to place a consoling hand over the agitated brow of the Enemy of the State star.

Once he had realised that an exodus was impossible - the drop off from the table edge to the floor would shatter his white enamel exterior with ease – and after the depression that had been imparted with the realisation of being responsible for the obliteration of their long-sought détente waned, he decided to try and fit in. Slowly but surely he expanded his circle of friends. With words of wisdom mined from the hallowed intellect of the salt, he lassoed the vinegar with a collection of hilarious anecdotes about yeast fermentation, and was buddied with the Worcester sauce after a chance stalactite of conversation revealed that it was a fan of Battlefield Earth.

Things were glancing up on the positive, Barry was hanging with his amigos down at the makeshift nightclub (two placemats tented), and no one had fired off any threats or insults at his blonde locks in days. His swagger acquired an upbeat rhythm, while major scales rang out in his head; all was veering into a tablecloth of cheer and joy.

It was on one of these excursions with his eternal chum the salt that Barry came across a napkin imprinted with a crude depiction of his face, ripped in two, and seeped in the musty aroma of tomato. He breathed in the connotations of said art, and interpreted it as a bad thing. Taking metaphors involving salt and wounds as a genesis-point, he tried to conjure a plan of action while staring deep into the optics of his soul-mate. It was then that the salt spat out an acrid lump of contents and hurtled it into the eyes of Barry Pepper. Taking the southward journey, ala Van Damme in Bloodsport, he dropped down and saw through his squints the blurred mould of red nearing. And then impact. A ruthless strike on the cranium of the 25th Hour actor. The last whisper of being wormed its way out of his still smirking face, and he was left inanimate and extinct as his backstabbing companion and assassin made a chucklesome depart.

And now, two weeks after his initial arrival, the condiments are congregated together to mourn the passing of that poor star-turned-pepper-pot Barry Pepper. A moment’s silence please.


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