I cannot even begin to describe how cathartic and satisfying it was to hurl a few plates, and even better, experience the impact and sound of a dinner plate hitting a cement wall and shattering into hundreds of pieces. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I have always maintained that the best way to maintain one’s sanity when frustrated is to head into a padded room (or up against a huge pillow) and scream at the top of your lungs to just let out all the bad stuff. Let’s just say it helps to lower the blood pressure, and I have notoriously LOW blood pressure. So a few days ago, as I was going through the restaurant’s inventory and finding large anomalies in recording, I chanced upon two large crates of damaged plates and glasses. After four months of operation, we have understandably nicked, cracked, broken some 5-6 dozen plates, a normal occurrence in the business. I removed them from the stock room, sorted out the ones with just nicked rims and offered them to staff who might want to take them home and use them. They may not have been okay for a restaurant, but 90% found homes with the crew who were happy to take them.
I did, however, keep several of the most gravely damaged plates for myself as I wondered out loud what it would be like to smash them against a wall… :) There are places that actually CHARGE you to smash plates against a wall, sometimes you can even put a picture (evil!) of someone or something to serve as your target. I know there is one such place in the hills of Busay in Cebu, and others in Luzon. At any rate, I picked a spot where I had minimal risk of hurting anyone or anything, stood some 20 feet away from the wall, conjured up images of things that needed to to be exorcised and let loose with one of the most powerful pitches I could muster. On the first go, the dinner plate hit the wall almost completely flat, and it shattered BEAUTIFULLY and with such force and sound that I literally felt it and it felt GOOD. Weird in a way, but seriously good. I tried a few more, mostly to get these photos, but the first one was the best. Folks at the office thought I had literally lost my marbles, but before long, a few of them gave it go and they too thought it was extremely satisfying. So just in case you think you are on the edge of losing it, find a safe spot and smash one of those knicked plates you can’t get yourself to throw out, and experience this for yourself!
On a slightly related almost Halloween note, “Smashing Pumpkins” was a name of band from the 1980’s or so. It was named after the juvenile practice of teenagers roaming suburban neighborhoods in the U.S. on Halloween night to “smash carved pumpkins” for fun. The band later changed their name to “The Smashing Pumpkins” to connote the British meaning for “smashing” as being brilliant, handsome, etc. but really, the original inspiration must have been the mean-spirited teenage practice… Today, smashing pumpkins has a slightly high-tech connotation, with pumpkin farmers literally shooting pumpkins out of “cannons” to smash them… drawing crowds and customers to their pumpkin fields, see this New York Times article, here. But the concept is the same. There is some weird satisfaction from destroying, smashing, shattering something…
Photos by Mrs. MM.