Characteristics of non-living things.
When I was in Form 3 (Year 9) secondary school, we were introduced to Biology, the study of living things, along with Physics and Chemistry. We shortened all three subjects to Phy-Chem-Bio (pronounced fikembahyo). I was really lousy at science subjects so I don’t remember much of what we learned but I could never forget one of the topics – characteristics of living things.
We were taught that all living things have the following characteristics;
- They respire
- They need nutrients
- They grow
- They move
- They are sensitive
- They excrete
- They reproduce
We were told that even though a non-living thing might exhibit one or two of these traits they do not qualify as living except they have all seven.
I beg to differ as I ‘hear’ non-living things ‘talk’ to me and I talk back to them. I know it sounds a bit barmy but it’s true, at least I imagine it is. I carry out full-blown conversations with them the same way I do to human beings. They express emotions too. They tend to let me know if they feel mistreated. I know it’s weird but they usually make sense especially when it comes to matters of fairness and justice. Now before you have me committed to an institution for the mentally imbalanced, please humour me and read on.
I imagine that non-living things communicate with each other and with humans somehow and since one of the primary forms of human communication is speech, I attribute this to inanimate objects as well.
I’ll give a few examples to buttress my point and disabuse you of the notion that I need my head examined by a psychiatrist.
In our bathroom, we’ve got a loo roll holder for extra loo rolls. It can hold up to three rolls.
Sometimes when it’s just one left in it and I want to top it up, I go to place the two newer rolls on the older one which is now at the bottom. I hear the older one saying,
“It’s not fair to put those two where they get used before me. I was here first. You should take me out and put me on top of them so I get used up first.”
Another is example is when I go to the kitchen cupboard to pick out a can of something or the other, I can ‘hear’ the cans clamouring for my attention, shouting out, “pick me, pick me.” It would be impolite not to reply, wouldn’t it? So the conversation then goes something like this;
Me: “Ok, calm down, everyone. I’ll try to be fair.”
Cans: “Please pick me, I’ve been in here forever and my sell-by date is fast approaching“.
Me: “I choose you, you and you. The rest of you’ll just have to wait till the next time. Don’t worry you’ll get used eventually”.
I could go and on with examples of my discourse with inanimate objects but I think you get the idea by now and are most definitely convinced that my personification of them is indicative of neurosis, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However I’m not that different from most people. If anyone can tell me, hand on heart, they’ve never tried to negotiate with, cajole, argue with, tell off or never expressed any form of emotion (anger, frustration, exasperation, joy) toward some object, then I’ll stretch out my arms for that strait jacket.
We each have our own foibles, eccentricities, quirks and idiosyncrasies. A small part though they may be, they contribute to our entire being making us unique and individual. So you see, I’m not certifiable just ever so slightly eccentric and occasionally whimsical.
What little quirks do you have that make you unique? Please share.
In the meantime, I’ve got to run, my laptop is yelling “TMI (Too much information)!”
Tara for now.