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     Volume 4 Issue 67 | October 14, 2005 |

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Slice of Life

Weights And Measures

Richa Jha

I looked down at the weighing scale and lamented, "Why, why?"
Pat replied a voice from five feet under, "What do mean why?"
Stunned into silence, I soon regained my composure and muttered, "Oh hello! Is that really you? Good you're talking. Now answer me: why do you show me this depressing reading everyday?"
"Dumb Mistress, because you stand on me everyday. And by Jove, you ARE heavy."
"You really think so?" I reached for some tissue to dab my brimming eyes. My nose snivelled too. Used a fresh tissue for it.
"Why? Don't you see it yourself everyday?" a brusque reply reached my ears.
"There, there, that's my biggest complaint against you. Why must you show me the same reading day after day after day?"
"Because lady, frankly, I feel you ill treat me, and I want to spite you. Why did you remove my cover?" I am not used to handling complaints from bathroom scales, so was taken aback at this sudden affront.
"Hey, come on now. I can't read you with the plastic covering on."
"No. I want my cover back. I don't want to be exposed to the elements. I need protection."
"That doesn't sound like you. Where did you get that from?
"The newspaper The Hubby was reading two days ago carried a half page ad on the front page: 'Use Protection. Be Safe. Relax.'" I hated Its deadpan demeanour.
"Oh that. That's not for you stupid. You relax."
"No, I want my cover back. Only then will I will feel at ease. And moreover, I don't like your dirty feet touching me. You roam the city, wash your hands ten times, and ignore your feet as if they don't exist. Eeks. All the filth! I need my plastic cover back." God. Why was It so stuck-up? He almost sounded like The Hubby. I decided it was best to leave It alone for a while, so I went away.
When I revisited the toilet, "I want the AC. I feel warm in the bathroom." There, it started all over again! I could sense my cool waning.
"No, no, I'm not so rich. You stay up with a positive frame of mind, it'll not be that bad."
"Put me in the bedroom then."
"No, that's not possible. Your box read 'Bathroom Scale'. I go strictly by the book."
"You don't understand. If I feel uncomfortable, I might end up giving you wrong measures. Maybe that's why you get astronomical readings every day."
"Be quiet, you impudent rogue. One more crib from you and I'll send you to the Club next door. They have an AC inside every cubicle in the changing rooms. Be happy there."
"I refuse to go there. I don't want a hundred people trampling upon me."
"Then be quiet, and stay where you are.
Don't forget that I might not be able to afford an AC in all rooms once I go back to India. You'd better get used to it."
"I'm not going. Pass me on to some rich friend of yours before you leave. Preferably, one with an AC in the toilet." I could see that It was inching towards insanity. Maybe, the heat WAS getting to it, after all. I wanted to tell It that I don't move about in the company of the rich and famous, but I let it pass. I could see that It was disturbed. And a disgruntled weighing scale is perennial bad news.
"Ok, I'll try my best. Now stop sulking, and promise that you will give me more flattering results from next time."
"Can't promise that until you stop being mean with me. You look after the others so well. You get the others cleaned with that blue liquid or a white one, and with me, it is just some spray and a duster."
"That's because you don't need it."
"No, I also want to look dandy. I read in the newspaper (I like The Hubby for company in the bathroom. He is never in a hurry to fold his newspaper) that blue cleans better than white, which cleans better than the spray. You are being stingy. Wait till I tell your friends about it."
"Now stop it before I throw you out. There is certainly more to your foul mood than meets the eye. Out with it. Now."
"I overheard you complaining to a friend on the phone that you might have to dispose of me, and purchase a better one. You said I give you incorrect results, because I show the same reading everyday."
So THAT was it! Yes, I did recall the conversation. I did intend buying a new one, but I could see that It was hurt and heartbroken.
I melted. Trouble shooting began promptly.
It took me a while to pacify It. A firm promise was secured that It would behave thereafter, and show me only that which I wish to see. But horror of horrors, this morning I was shocked to find the scales going a kilogram more than usual to the right. I was devastated! Such betrayal of trust?
I confronted it, but It had Its defence in place.
"Who asked you to down pastries after pastries yesterday? I saw you licking your fingers when you came in to wash them. This will not do."
"But you promised you'd give me flattering results. I got you cleaned with the most expensive facial cleansing milk in the market. And you do this with me?
"Ha! The astringent was missing. You cannot buy me with your cheap ways, you get it?"
I think it IS time we parted ways. I will pass it down, and buy another one. A less ungrateful one. Anyone, that shows that I no longer weigh the same I did two days before I delivered my baby. Period.

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