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Contents Under (not enough) Pressure
February 24, 2014 12:51 PM   Subscribe

GNFTI, you complete MONSTER. How could you. I trusted you.

I first suspected you harbored an unspeakable grudge against me when I didn't receive my prize for the 2011 post contest -- a sonnet -- for my post about Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. But then you sent me an exceedingly apologetic and humble message explaining how life and two jobs had got in the way and that you felt such deep and heartfelt regret over letting it slip for so long and vowed to make it up immediately -- and that was really good of you.

My darkest suspicions were roused again when you said in closing that it would take an unusually long time to actually ship the package, and I was this close to calling shenanigans -- until you mentioned you were mailing from the Netherlands, and I recalled that control of trans-oceanic shipping lanes and international customs agencies were not technically part of a moderator's purview. (pb really needs to get on that)

I figured all was well when the package finally arrived at my door, tearing open the box to reveal a thoughtful and gracefully written poem -- a genuine Petrarchan sonnet! -- on the subject of Cities, enclosed in a tasteful picture frame:
CONCENTRIC WALTZES

Should patience with all of this silence grow thin
I'd seek out the loudest of places
Sketch out a circle that traces
Where endings die out and a noise could begin.

Then were I to tire of that boisterous din
I'd see if the clamor encases
Calmer ancillary bases
Whose quiet gives way to the bustle within.

Which holds a yet milder inversion
By this time I'm skipping in triplicate, savoring
Clues of conclusions which never arrive.

It's infinite inward incursion.
And still I will stick to insistently wavering:
Who then shall say that I am not alive?
Truly lovely work! And not only that, but sweet and sour licorice drops! And Stroopwafels -- acclaimed by at least one YouTube expert as "a fucking good cookie"! (It's true!) Dank je wel! This was more generous than I'd ever expected.

But all a ruse it turns out -- nothing but bait for the cruelest psychological torture imaginable. For packed between and below these kind gifts, the true surprise:

Unpoppable. Bubble wrap.

GOOD NEWS FOR THE INSANE, INDEEEEEEEEED

(but seriously gnfti, this was all such great stuff, thank you so much!)
posted by Rhaomi to MetaFilter-Related at 12:51 PM (67 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

what
posted by agregoli at 1:02 PM on February 24 [12 favorites]


This MeTa is nothing but joy.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:02 PM on February 24 [15 favorites]


Did you try squeezing the individual cells? Or hitting them with a rivet hammer?
posted by Iridic at 1:09 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Those are totally poppable! You just have to stab them with a pointy knife!

/yesIhavedonethiswhydoyouask
posted by rtha at 1:10 PM on February 24 [13 favorites]


Aw!

I did set myself up for failure there, with the ridiculously specific prize. As I joked to you over MeMail, the next guy is getting an Amazon gift card. :) So I'm sorry I took forever. (In my defense it was the 2012 contest, although at this point who's counting...) But it was tons of fun to do once I got around to it, so I'm glad my rhyming ramblings arrived in good order!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 1:10 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Poetry motherfucker do you speak it?
(that's what)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:13 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


By which I mean: mad skillz GNFTI. Props.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:14 PM on February 24


oh. that stuff is eminently poppable. just ask my chagrined cow orkers.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:22 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


All mods should send cookies to users.
posted by infini at 1:24 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


goodnewsfortheinsane, your sonnet is beyond awesome. You have earned several lifetimes of writing incomprehensible vers libre (if that's your pleasure) and NOBODY can say you do that because you can't do the hard, disciplined vers classique. Triumphant Buzz Lightyear voice: CAN!
posted by jfuller at 1:32 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


rtha: Those are totally poppable! You just have to stab them with a pointy knife!

I am an Inventory Manager. Those two sentences are approximately 20% of my job. Really, the worst part of my job is that I have totally become deadened to the joy of bubble wrap, as I deal with tons of it on a daily basis. I should write a "Types of Bubble Wrap, Ranked" article.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:39 PM on February 24 [17 favorites]


"Types of Bubble Wrap, Ranked"

*waits*
posted by infini at 1:43 PM on February 24 [28 favorites]


Came for the mock indignation, stayed for the stroopwafel hints.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:44 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I stayed for the chagrined cow orkers.
posted by gilrain at 1:48 PM on February 24 [13 favorites]


Types of Bubble Wrap, Ranked

1. Small bubble, nice easy pop, yet completely satisfying. The classic.

2. Very resilient channel-type bubbles. Fun bouncy pop.

3. Sticky-backed, unsatisfying pop.

4. Flimsy channel tubes. Weak pop.

5. Airbags?

6. Being hit by a car.

7. Paper.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:00 PM on February 24 [58 favorites]


The airbag type are great, although very startling to pets and significant others, which can be a feature or a bug. You grip them firmly with both hands and squeeze hard. They explode very satisfyingly and with a volume that triggers the "OH SHIT RUN" instinct in humans and pets alike.
posted by gilrain at 2:12 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient popping bubble-wrap upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless popping in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with bubble-stabbing knives:
Popping sounds that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “Can I pop it?”
Let us go and make our visit....

posted by blue_beetle at 2:16 PM on February 24 [18 favorites]


My uncle used to work in a factory that had big rolls of bubble wrap lying around and after work they'd drive over them with a steamroller.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:24 PM on February 24 [23 favorites]


I'm trying to picture what sort of factory has bubble wrap and a steam roller...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:34 PM on February 24 [10 favorites]


I'm trying to picture what sort of factory has bubble wrap and a steam roller...

Yeah, I have no idea. He is very much a stereotypical "cool uncle" to whom my mother refers as "my brother the bad influence". He let us watch movies our parents wouldn't allow us to watch and bought my brother awesome toys like the Slimenator. My parents wouldn't let us watch any TV until I was thirteen (and I fought really, REALLY hard for that) so he kept us up to date on pop culture references. The day I turned eighteen, he picked me up early from school so I could get a tattoo.

He also taught me to drive when I was fourteen (around Swan Point Cemetery and in the McCoy stadium parking lot for you Pawtucket Red Sox fans out there). He would pick me up before church on Sundays and bring me this amazing coffee; it was just so good. Sometimes he'd let me drive the car home on the actual street even though, you know, I was fourteen and didn't even have a learner's permit.

Years later, I was reminiscing about those drives and mentioned how good the coffee was and he told me it had Bailey's in it which is why it was so amazingly delicious. So, yeah, he was giving (admittedly very small amounts of) alcohol to his underage niece while she learned to drive.

It's possible I've told this story on Metafilter before but the point here is that I do believe the bubble wrap/steam roller story because, while my uncle may not make the best choices, he does tend to make awesome choices and he doesn't lie about them.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:41 PM on February 24 [57 favorites]


Types of Bubble Wrap, Ranked

Buzzfeed needs you.
posted by ChrisTN at 2:44 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


In Russia, you feed Buzzneeds
posted by infini at 3:05 PM on February 24


Please memail me any leftover cookies and bubble wrap.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 3:10 PM on February 24


8. Bubble wrap that belongs to the Emperor

9. Bubble wrap that trembles as if it were mad

10. Bubble wrap that is included in this classification

11. Et cetera
posted by strangely stunted trees at 3:12 PM on February 24 [17 favorites]


12. Tech bubble wrap.

13. Housing bubble wrap.

14. Mr. Bubble Wrap

15. seltzer bottles
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:28 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


16. Bubba wrap
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:31 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


17. Michael Bublé. Raps.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 3:35 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Whoa

Invisible Cities is my ultimate jam, and I had no idea that post existed.

FAVORITE ADDED
posted by Sebmojo at 3:37 PM on February 24


Unpoppable. Bubble wrap.

Have you tried a raccoon?
posted by maggieb at 3:54 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Rock Steady, I salute your proper ranking, re: Getting hit by a car. That's a thing of genius, and should be in pretty much every ranking list.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:05 PM on February 24


Rock Steady, I salute your proper ranking, re: Getting hit by a car. That's a thing of genius, and should be in pretty much every ranking list.

I shamelessly stole it from Foodspin's Albert Burneko, who does just that.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:12 PM on February 24


Yeah, I figured as much. I'm a pretty big fan of his writing, and even more so of his shortened recipes for people who don't want to do all the reading.

(at the risk of spoiling the surprise, it's... a little rude)
posted by Ghidorah at 4:17 PM on February 24


18. The kind of bubble wrap you used to get back when we were kids, everything was so much better then, you don't get bubble wrap like that these days. Now put that lousy bubble wrap down and go get granddad another glass of bourbon.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:06 PM on February 24


19. those little cardboard pyramids that are starting to show up in lieu of packing peanuts

did I louse it up? sorry
posted by jquinby at 5:24 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]



20. Bubble wrap that from a long way off looks like flies.
posted by spitbull at 5:43 PM on February 24


Thirteen Ways of Looking at Bubble-Wrap

I
Within the dusty factory,
The only moving thing
Was bubble-wrap.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a warehouse
In which there is bubble-wrap.

III
The bubble-wrap squirmed beneath the steam roller.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and bubble-wrap
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The bubble-wrap popping
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric yawp.
The echoes of the bubble-wrap
Vibrate, to and fro.
The reflections
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable code.

VII
O young men of my time,
Why do you imagine impenetrable armor?
Do you not see how the bubble-wrap
Bursts under the fingers
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the bubble-wrap is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the bubble-wrap finally deflated,
It marked the end and beginning
Of one of many circles in time.

X
At the sight of bubble-wrap
Waiting to be pressed,
Even the bards of MetaFilter
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
Through a Google Glass, dorkly.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
A shadow on his package
For spent bubble-wrap.

XII
The river is frozen.
The bubble-wrap must be popped.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The bubble-wrap crouched
In the unopened package.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 5:49 PM on February 24 [21 favorites]


You know there's a phone app for that. Bubble wrap that is. I had it on my last phone.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:37 PM on February 24


This is just to say
I have popped
the bubblewrap
that came in
the package

and which
you were probably
saving
for Christmas

Forgive me
it was exquisite
so firm
but explosive
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:40 PM on February 24 [15 favorites]


How I miss running
over bubble wrap with a
heavy forklift truck
posted by double block and bleed at 8:04 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


so much depends
upon

a red steam
roller

glazed with rain
water

beside the bubble
wrap.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 8:14 PM on February 24 [12 favorites]


St(a

bu

bb
le

po

ps)
e
am

roller
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:25 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Unpoppable. Bubble wrap.

Have you no high heels? If not, the local thrift shop can provide. I was able to make packaging of just that type explode with a satisfying boom under my workboots, and those didn't even have any pointy bits.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:41 PM on February 24


When he splits the cookie in half and you see the syrup drip down, I nearly shrieked in mouthlust at 0:51 in the morning.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:52 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


So bubble
Such wow
posted by arcticseal at 10:10 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


I really love GNFTI's poem!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:36 PM on February 24


That is a fine piece of writing. Thank you GNIFTI for writing it. Thank you Rhaomi for sharing it.

Thank you MetaFilter for inspiring it.
posted by carsonb at 10:37 PM on February 24


Huh. Poetry. I'll just leave this here.
posted by axiom at 1:04 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Alas, Rhaomi is right. There is "bubble wrap" that does not pop. The air simply passes silently from one pathway to another. I don't know what joyless drone invented this stuff, but I hope he is a unhappy as his dreary invention.
posted by Cranberry at 1:14 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


What I find particularly disappointing is the fact that bubble wrap is so rarely useful for wrapping actual bubbles.

Case in point: I wrapped a Bubble up in bubble wrap in order to post him back to Canada recently, and the Post Office employees scolded me for not putting in any air holes, but I told them that- wait a minute, I should have spelled that as Michael Bublé, not "Bubble". Sorry. Anyway, I had to let him escape from his plastic prison and God only knows what trouble he is causing in the wild.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:10 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Bubbie wrap . . . A mink stole brought from the old country.
posted by spitbull at 4:19 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Be careful with that liquorice. That's sweet and salty, not sour. Not all furriners can handle Dutch salty liquorice. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

If you happen to like it, though, there is also Dubbelzout.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:02 AM on February 25


Dubbelzout licorice is the best. Tastes kind of like how really astringent cleaning products smell, but in a good way.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:18 AM on February 25


I nearly shrieked in mouthlust

NEW FAVOURITE WORD
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:31 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


We get quite a bit of "airbags" type bubble wrap at work. My Feline Supervisor finds it most satisfactory as both toys and pillows. She also finds it useful in boosting company moral, inspiring tears of laughter as she drags connected strips of these "airbags", (three times as long as she is) throughout the office as fast as her tiny legs can stumble-run.
posted by MuChao at 9:54 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Oh, but there was no hope! Whatever crossed
my eye looked ugly, or it passed before
I noticed it. Friends' company had lost
its pleasures; often, then, I would ignore
their invitations. I would walk the shore
and listen to the ocean sough and slap
against the pier. I would have lived a sore
and sad long life if I'd not heard the snap,
my childhood joy come round again, of bubble wrap.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:11 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


where did y'all get that app that generates all this bubble wrap poetry?
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:42 AM on February 25


Bubbles' rap.
posted by Kabanos at 12:10 PM on February 25


I encountered Dr Pepper flavored licorice recently. I don't care do licorice myself, but several friends said it was yummy.
posted by jonmc at 12:43 PM on February 25


If it isn't flavoured with licorice, it ain't licorice. It should ideally have lots of ammonium chloride in it too.
posted by Dysk at 12:52 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


You know there's a phone app for that. Bubble wrap that is. I had it on my last phone.
Tried it. It's just not the same, somehow. Which is true of pretty much anything fun that there's an app for :-(
posted by dg at 1:11 PM on February 25


If you have not tried stroopwafel and are intrigued + located in the US, Trader Joes sells a decent version (Also other places too I'm sure, but if you're already at TJs and want a new addiction to add to the list of speculoos cookie butter and triple ginger cookies...).
posted by librarylis at 1:37 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


I can only think of Unpopable, Addi Somekh's Balloon Bass-based band.
posted by kalessin at 4:11 PM on February 25


It's only a matter of time before Mefi becomes known as "that site where they rank bubble wrap".
posted by philipy at 6:20 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


This brought unearned joy to my life, y'all <3
posted by SakuraK at 1:05 AM on February 26


what weary wretchedly wandering
fingers frisk fringes for faults
cyclically circuiting cellophane
packaging's pure pressured pods

vacuously vowing victory
treasonists tailored to tempt
idle if itchy insatiates
restless requesting release

loll's labour's lost little liberates
never not nudging new nubs
seldom shall such searching satisfy
angry attempting again
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 3:17 AM on February 26 [7 favorites]


It's only a matter of time before Mefi becomes known as "that site where they rank bubble wrap".

Those people, in that room, who rank bubble wrap.
posted by Atreides at 2:52 PM on February 26


Metafilter: where they rank bubble wrap.

Yeah, that works.
posted by ninazer0 at 9:27 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


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