Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dreams On Paper

It was an action-packed afternoon in the office. I was rushing out for a meeting when this Twisted Tale came without warning.

The story is told of a pile of different papers telling tales of their vivid dreams.

"I shall capture the moments of the world." bragged Photo Paper.

"That's nothing." Tracing Paper cut in smugly. "I'm going to see through things of the world."

"Your dreams are all but thin and flimsy," boomed Art Paper. "I, on the other hand, create the space for imaginations to come alive."

who're you calling thin and flimsy.

The papers turned around.

"Oh lookie," Sand Paper barked. "It's Tissue Paper."

"Hey... that's not nice. Be kind to him, will you?" Sugar Paper frowned at such rudeness.

Mahjong Paper snickered. "I can bet you that's not going to happen."

fine then. i'll just go away and wipe my tears.

"No... come back!" Sugar Paper called after him. "See what you've done?" She pouted at the other papers.

Everyone glared at each other.

"Ah. If only she was me, she could erase all the wrongs of the world."

Everyone turned to see who it was who spoke so powerfully.

"For indeed, it is only I who possess the powe-"

"SHUT UP! YOU'RE NOT EVEN A PAPER!" Everyone yelled in unison.

Poor Liquid Paper slunk away, white in embarrassment.

"Ahem." Came another voice from behind. "Want to know what I can do?"

A collective groan arose.

"Let's not even go there, Toilet Paper."

And so the story went. It is, after all, every paper's dream to change the world with what he or she is created for. Simple though they may be, folk stories abound of individual papers who have made all the difference in history. Take for instance the Declaration of Independence. An unassuming piece of papyrus milled from the remote forests of Pennsylvania, bred and selected from hundreds of thousands of its kind. Who would've ever imagined it was this one piece of paper that liberated the world's greatest power of today. It is the hope of someday becoming the Paper That Changed The World that drives every paper to give the best in all they do.

But as they say, many things in life are unequal. Even as the papers stood there engaged in petty squabbles, one paper amongst them all stood in still confidence. Far from being the strongest, biggest, thickest or fanciest sheet, he nonetheless possessed the captivating aura of a paper that was like no other. He had no need for witty rhetoric or impressive fronts. All he needed to do, simply, was to be himself and allow the people of the world to work their magic on him.

He was A4 Paper.

And he knew that he did not have to fight for attention like the other papers. No matter what fate had in store for him, he was destined for glory. He could end up in a school being part of a future inventor's thesis. Maybe in a research lab as part of a revolutionary blueprint. Or even a major political agreement in the hands of world leaders.

But as things turned out, he ended up in the most promising place of all - a multi-million corporate office.

He arrived one inconspicuous Monday morning, part of a family of 500 per ream. A young lady set them beside a huge printer that churned out dozens of his kind daily. Some of them gave their lives to proposal sheets, some project agreements, the less fortunate ones invoices. But all of them made a difference in the world.

Within three days, his turn came. Our A4 friend could hardly catch his breath as he was loaded into the machine, eagerly watching those at the bottom get printed one a time.

20 went into a tender in the morning. Another dozen to a stack of department reports. Some more and more, more and more...

Until it came to no more.

Next up was him.

This was it. His turn to change the world.

"Judy, can you print the construction contract for me? Client requested for a hard copy."

A construction contract! Fancy that!

Those were worth millions at least!

He was so excited he almost crumpled himself.

As she pressed Ctrl + P, he inhaled deeply and waited for the printer to set things in motion.



"Judy, what's that awful noise?"

"Aiyah! Sorry ah boss. Printer jam. I print another copy yah." Judy frowned as she scrunched up the misprinted copy and threw it into the wastepaper basket.

If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.


cheechiaw said...

This is brilliant!!! I can't even breath towards the end... Mok, seriously, you are the best story writer that I personally known.

Yee Ling said...

Excellent piece! Now, whenever I use an A4 paper for photocopying and printing, I'll surely remember this story. Great work...
P/S: Being an administrator, can't escape from not using A4 paper *sigh*