Dearest Rachel –
Well, honey, I got my assignment in my email yesterday evening, and it turns out I’ll be spending most of the weekend in the kitchen just as I expected to. What I hadn’t expected (but probably should have) is that most of my time there will be spent handling cleanup rather than preparation. You know, washing the pots and pans, taking out the garbage, that sort of thing. It’s not the most dignified or glamorous part of the job, but it’s what’s needed to get done, so… yeah. I may not particularly like it, but when you get down to it, nobody does, and that’s the point of assigning it to someone – after all, somebody’s got to do it. I suppose it at least relieves me of any obligation on my part to go hunt for ingredients before I head up there. Still, it’s a pity I couldn’t make them a curry.
Anyway, the dream center of my mind decided to come up with something to help me out. As dreams are its primary function, it stands to reason that what it came up with was both impossible and impractical, but you couldn’t say it wasn’t cool.
You might be familiar with the concept of the portable hole; it was a fairly stock gag in cartoons when we were growing up.
It was a way for a character to get through a wall or floor, especially if they were in a tight spot, with pursuers coming after them or something like that. As a general rule, it was assumed that what was on the other side of the hole was merely the other side of the wall or floor or whatever.
But suppose it wasn’t? And this is where my dreamscape took me.
Basically, the utility of the hole wasn’t so much its portability, and ease of installation as much as where it opened up to. Perhaps a more adept sci-fi fan would have it empty out to another, similar-but-different dimension, but all I could come up with was that it emptied out into space. And you’d probably not approve of it, but I was thinking of this as the ideal place to clear the table scraps and other garbage to.
Think about it, honey; most of this stuff (and certainly any food scraps, as they can’t be recycled) is going to wind up in a landfill, to slowly decay over however long that may take. Our planet is getting pretty cluttered up with trash in one place or another, you’d agree – you can remember what our house looked like back in the day, although it’s becoming more and more of a distant memory to me these days. However, space encompasses a vast emptiness, in which our earth can seem like a mere pinprick, even when observed within the confines of our own solar system, let alone our galaxy. All the garbage in the world – quite literally – could be emptied out into the vastness of, say, the asteroid belt (to say nothing of the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud), and not make a dent in the clutter already occupying the area. An instant-access portal to the area would be the ultimate garbage disposal, if a rather mundane and crass use of such a spectacular technology. But sometimes, like with my attempt at volunteering this weekend, it’s the common, ordinary needs that are the most important to be met.
If such a use seems an abuse of space (and, for what it’s worth, I don’t begrudge you your disgust, but again, it’s a necessary part of life), consider another possibility my mind dreamed up at the same time. For whatever reason, dream-me fastened a rope (or maybe it was just a string) to some meat, and lowered it into the hole as it rested on the mess hall kitchen counter. As I watched, the string stiffened, and I hauled the meat back up, flash-frozen to nearly absolute zero – because space is like that, after all. Don’t know if that sounds a little more impressive, but it makes the access portal somewhat multi-purpose.
Not like anything like that is – or ever will be – available for such a use, but it’s quite literally fun to dream about stuff like this. It certainly beats loading everything into a dumpster on the side of the mess hall (which, I suppose, might be part of the origin of that name, come to think of it). For now, all I can ask is that you keep an eye on me as I go about these tasks that I’m not necessarily used to (at least, not on this scale)…
…and wish me luck; I’m going to need it.