They were probably a wonderful, innovative idea when they first appeared to assist us in our efforts to join/close/seal things, but has anyone bothered to try and improve upon the original invention? It just seems so rudimentary, really. There’s bound to be an improvement just waiting to be made, most likely involving some kind of noise reducing device.
Spend a single night in a hostel, and you’ll grow to loathe and detest the apparently innocent and helpful zip. It is the single most frequently heard sound in this environment, closely followed by the high-pitched whine of the mosquito circling your body in search of a decent feeding point, and the inevitable retching of the latest youth to have consumed too much Heineken.
Zzzzzzip! goes the suitcase/backpack as the latest person to enter the dorm searches for her pyjamas.
Zzzzzzip! goes the sleeping bag as someone gets into bed.
Zzzzzzip! goes the sleeping bag as someone closes it around them.
Zzzzzzip! go the jacket and jeans as someone gets undressed.
Zzzzzzip! Zzzzzzip! Zzzzzzip! go the zips, all night long.
Something has to be done about it. Little silent slidey things like on ZipLock bags, maybe. Buttons. I don’t know. I’m not about to start campaigning for the abolishment of all zips, because I realise that they are important part of modern life, but I feel that there’s a definite opportunity for some improvement, if anyone cares to rise to the challenge.
And while I’m ranting, I must return to my now long-running pet hate: mosquitos. Why do they love/hate me with such a passion? How is it that I can be staying in a large hostel, two floors up, in a dorm where the nearest open window is at least a two minute walk and two staircases away, where there are no insects in sight, and yet when I’ve been lying in bed for approximately 10 minutes I hear the inevitable buzz around my head? It’s gotten to the stage where I’ve just given up on trying to defend myself. I don’t jump up and try to swat them away. What’s the point? They’ll just divebomb me in my sleep anyway. And so I lie there, weary and defenceless, letting them land on me and have a merry little feast on my blood. Every morning I wake up and perform my morbidly fascinated daily routine of examining my skin for new bites, and there they are: fresh evidence of the nightshift, in the form of new, pink, itchy lumps next to the scratched and bloody scars of previous onslaughts. Throughout the day they will itch and be scratched raw, finally reducing in size by bed time, when they will without fail be replaced with a new batch.
I do not know how many diseases they have infected me with to date, but I suspect that I am an epidemic waiting to happen. Eventually I will have no blood left in my poor, bitten body, and they will find me drained and lifeless on a hostel bed somewhere.
Zzzzzzip! the body bag will go. And all the mosquitos will be dead within a day, because no one else’s blood is good enough any more.