The Evening Shenanigans
A Short Story
Clock struck midnight.
When the humans went to sleep, Clock could always be depended on to let everyone in the kitchen know. In her seven years of hanging on the wall, she’s never been late for anything. Except for that one time when the humans forgot to switch out her batteries. After Clock, Oven was always the first one to wake up; turning on his light to shed a warm glow across the milk-white, ceramic tile.
The kitchen would be considered quaint, as kitchens often are. In the center was a sizeable island where the humans seasoned their meats, diced their veggies, and whisked their sauces. Salt and Pepper are easy to spot, looking rather spent from the constant twisting and shaking they endure to spew their insides over slivers of flank steak and boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Outlining the perimeter of the kitchen are the gentle giants, the weighty wardens, the burly behemoths that stored food, cooked food, and bathed the other inhabitants of the kitchen. Directly across from the island is Oven with his little sister, Microwave, perched on his shoulders. To the left of the island stood Fridge, always calm, cool, and collected. The island is where Sink had her dugout, and so there was a perfect square cut out within the island, which is where Dishwasher resided, snuggled in and hooked up to the drain pipe.
Shortly after Clock made her announcement, the cupboard doors slowly creaked open. Out popped a handle as Frying Pan surveyed the situation and climbed out, followed by the Mixing Bowls, Roasting Tin, Colander, and the hefty Cast Iron Skillet, who’s always been a bit self-conscious about his weight.
Next, Spatula and Slotted Spoon jumped out of their flowery, decorative vase that placed them to the right of Oven, so the humans had easy access. Spatula scratched some flaky, yellow crust from his flat end.
Roasting Tin looked up, “Eggs this morning, Spatz?”
“Yeah…scrambled…they never give me a proper bath afterward. Eggs are sticky bastards,” replied the grizzled spatula.
Finally, the drawers silently slid open. Out popped Spoon and Fork. They glanced at each other, gave each other “high steel”, and hopped down onto the floor. The suave, sophisticated Chef’s Knife waltzed out after them, took a deep breath, and exhaled with a cheeky grin on his face.
It gets quite stuffy in those drawers.
Now, the humans of this particular home were musically inclined. So much so in fact, that they had a soundproof room where they could practice their guitars, keyboards, drums, trumpets, flutes, trombones, violins, harps, bagpipes, ocarinas, french horns, and the ol’ didgeridoo.
Directly opposite to the kitchen stood the soundproof room, where everyone could observe the magical silence that this room produced. Spoon was busy shovelling Lucky Charms into the humans’ mouths and was able to catch a glimpse of the other human strumming the guitar. Colander was hanging out in the sink full of al dente spaghetti and peered over the edge to see one of the humans yelling into the phone, but could not hear one word.
They looked around and eyed each other up, noticing that they had all the tools necessary to create the sweet, melodic riffs and head-banging, heart-stopping drum solos that the humans made inside that soundless room.
To put it simply, they were the tools.
Putting two and two together, the kitchen crew did what any other kitchen crew would have done, given the circumstances.
They started a band.
The pots and pans became the drums that Spatula and Slotted Spoon banged on. It was the most natural fit. Unfortunately, they were forced to pop a couple of Advil before their sets due to repeated head trauma.
Chef’s Knife slapped the bass. He enjoyed coming up with the smoothest, sexiest bass lines and setting the rhythm for the rest of the band.
Fork was the lead guitar. She would bend one prong and use it to strum the remaining prongs to make that ear-piercing, earth-shattering, mind-melting sound that only a lead guitarist can produce.
Last but not least, there was Spoon. The fearless leader of the band. His voice rang out like a tiny, metallic angel. He was the glue that held the band together when Fork was mouthing off. Or when Spatz had a splitting headache and didn’t feel like playing. Or when Chef’s Knife showed up late because he was busy canoodling with Paring Knife.
Shortly after they formed the band, they collectively decided to perform for the rest of the kitchen. Once a date was set, Spoon kept them practicing every night in the soundproof room when the humans retired to the bedroom upstairs.
“I was thinking we could build off that bass line you were playing around with last night,” Spoon said, nodding toward Chef’s Knife.
“Ugh, that was GARBAGE! There’s no way it meshes with that absolute shred of a solo I’ve been perfecting the last month and a half,” Fork said with her head down, fiddling with the amplifier.
Chef’s Knife scowled.
“Alright, alright, alright, that’s enough. Fork, if you can’t play nice, there are about seventeen other guitarists in the drawer dying to join the band. Now kiss and make up. We have a show to play,” Spoon said with finality in his tone.
Fork mumbled inaudibly.
“I just realized something,” piped in one of the pots, “we don’t have a name.”
The whole band stopped what they were doing as they acknowledged the observation.
“Hmmm, well, you’re the lead singer,” Spatz said, gesturing towards Spoon.
“And we always play when Clock strikes midnight,” Chef’s Knife said thoughtfully.
“And we’re all kitchen utensils,” Fork said, stating the obvious.
“I’ve got it!” Spoon shouted, a little too close to his microphone, causing everyone to jump in surprise.
And so they called themselves Spoon’s Midnight Utensils.
They had one more night before their big show. They’d been diligently practicing their big performance over the last few months so that the rest of the kitchen could have a night to let their hair down. Both Fridge and Oven don’t get out much.
The band knew they would have to play outside of the soundproof room so that everyone could enjoy it. They also knew that the humans would hear them rockin’ out and would come rushing down the stairs, likely skipping two steps at a time. So they spent the last few weeks timing their descent into the kitchen, from the moment the alarm rang out to when the fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen ignited. Turns out they had just enough time to put on one bitchin’ performance.
Spoon wanted to use this night to give everyone one last pep talk.
“Alright fellas, tomorrow is the big night. I know for a fact that Garlic Press has been handing out flyers and spreading the word, so there should be quite a turnout. We sound like Motley Crüe on seventeen different drugs, which is precisely the sound we were going for. And we sound a hell of a lot better than the laundry room band. Even the humans shut the door on those guys. How y’all feeling?”
“I’m all tuned and ready to rumble. I’m a tuning fork!” Fork said while laughing hysterically at herself.
The others stared at her.
“What?” said Fork.
“Anyway, it sounds like we’re ready. I thought we might play Paradise By The Stovetop Lights, whaddya all think?” asked Spoon.
Everyone nodded enthusiastically in agreement.
“Perfect. Rest up. We’ve got a show to play tomorrow,” Spoon said as the band retired to their respective drawers and cupboards.
After another day of doing the human’s bidding, Oven flicked it’s light on, signalling that it was go time.
The band took their places on stage, which was the kitchen island and dead center of the concert-goers. Everyone in the crowd quieted down as Spoon walked up to his mic and gave it a little tap. Microwave clicked open, which showered them with light from above. A light flickered from the left where Fridge had opened up, with Mustard repeatedly tapping the door light switch to create a strobe effect.
Spatula and Slotted Spoon tapped their handles together.
“A one, a two, a one, two, three, four…”
The concert began.
There were heads bumping and hair whipping, which is kind of gross when you think about it since no one had hair to begin with.
Spoon’s voice rang out over the crowd, and Vegetable Peeler screamed, as she removed her protective plastic and threw it on stage.
Corkscrew and Balloon Whisk formed a mosh pit and were thrashing so hard that they got tangled up in each other.
Fork’s solo came up, and she stepped to the front of the stage. Everyone went still for a moment. Fork slowly raised her prong and dropped it like a hammer, absolutely shredding it. Everyone went bananas…including the bananas who slipped right out of their peels and onto the floor.
The time had come.
Spoon could sense the rustling upstairs. But they had timed it perfectly. The crowd was reaching peak energy. He belted out the final lyrics and held the last note just long enough. It was a magical moment. He even caught Pizza Cutter in the crowd, who was always such a jerk, shedding a solitary tear in appreciation.
Suddenly, the light switch flicked on. Everyone fell where they stood and remained still.
The humans gazed around at the mess of kitchen utensils everywhere, the peeled and fallen bananas. They quickly explored the rest of the house in case someone had broken in. Why else would the kitchen be trashed? Satisfied that no one else was in the house, the humans began to put everything away.
Spoon caught Fork’s eye as they were being placed in the drawer and shot her a smile.
They were rockstars now.
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