Oil & Security
1st April, 2003
The world lives under oil’s spell. Jeremy Smith reveals the extent to which the industry’s by-products have permeated our lives.Unperturbed by the children’s restless murmuring, Olive and Petra begin their routine. Slowly raising the lid of the gigantic box between them, they turn to face the class. ‘Welcome,’ they intone together with well-rehearsed awe, ‘to the magic suitcase.’
One by one, the two women lift an improbable alphabet of products out from the case – Aspirin, balloons, candles, dentures, an electric blanket, a fishing rod, golf balls, hair dye, insect repellent, jet fuel, kerosene, lipstick, a mop, nail polish…
‘Can anyone tell me what connects these objects?’ Olive asks. Petra meanwhile reaches back into the box, pulling out office stationery, piano keys, quoits, rubber cement, a surfboard, a toilet seat, an umbrella, vitamin capsules, water skis, a xerox machine, a yoghurt pot. Finally (at last impressing the jaded class), a miniature Zeppelin floats silently up from the depths of the box.
As the children’s eyes follow the diminutive dirigible up towards the strip lighting, Olive steps forth. ‘The answer,’ she gushes...
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