This article is taken from Stand 235, 20(3) September - December 2022.

Deborah Nash Nargles in the Night Kitchen
The animals are becoming human. They understand our tongue. They gather in packs beneath a grapefruit moon. They are plotting a takeover.

The intercom at the front door crackles into life.

LET US IN! it says.

Every night in the students’ kitchen the machines hear the intercom and marshal against possible attack, but this night, it’s different; the machines are divided. There are two washing-machines competing in their cycles.

On the left, the Lavomat begins its wash programme…

Shlosh! Shlosh! Shloash!

On the right, the Hotpoint begins its spin cycle…

Thumpety thump thump!

The Bush radio senses exclusion and protests. It demands representation; it demands equality; its voice must be heard. It switches itself on to BBC Radio London where a repeat debate about refugees is broadcast. Arguments erupt; the radio sides with the refugees.

The De Longhi coffee machine declares independence from its owner; it heats its water and flashes two fairy green lights, reaching out to its tribe… but where is its tribe? To which tribe does it belong? Kettle or Blender? Cooker or fridge?

The Zanussi cooker is opposed to the individual actions of the coffee machine and the Bush radio and illuminates to outshine them both. Two rings on the black ceramic hob bloom like victory rosettes.

The Smeg fridge standing aloof in the corner like an ancient monumental stone has no intention of collaborating with the kitchen community. It fizzles ominously with ...
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