With Ann Rickard
With Ann Rickard

Plastic fantastic forever. Ann Rickard loves her containers

SOME women love jewellery, others love flash cars, yet others love expensive clothes and big brand make-up.

I'm happy with plastic containers.

It began decades ago like it did for so many others when Tupperware came into our lives and revolutionised the way we stored stuff.

Remember the lettuce crisper?

It was the most innovative product of its time and every household bought one from the local Tupperware lady because it kept a lettuce fresh for six years.

Well, maybe it was six months, okay, six weeks...but it was along time for a lettuce to live out a full and happy life.

People all over the country would perform a manoeuvre called the burp on the Tupperware lettuce lid before putting it in the fridge after use.

The burp involved putting the lid on and pressing a bubble thing on the top to burp out the last bit of air thus sealing the lettuce in an airtight situation so it could remain green and lively for eternity.

You may still have your Tupperware lettuce crisper, mine left home long ago. It think it went off in a huff with the Tupperware cake holder after I'd left them both languishing in a bottom cupboard drawer for a couple of years.

Oh, the Tupperware cake holder.

Was there a household in Australia without one of those cumbersome lovelies?

Out it came every time we were invited to someone's house. It didn't matter if it was a lunch or dinner invitation, a cake had to be taken (this was in those innocent days before we discovered wine and took Eskies instead), and it had to make its journey in the Tupperware cake container complete with its big half circle removable plastic handle.

What happy days.

Now my love of containers has had a revival.

After years of storing everything in bowls beneath Gladwrap I decided to buy a bunch of containers and keep things neat and fresh.

So off I went to one of those two dollar shops because someone told me they were specialists in plastic containers.

I admit to being snobbish about these shops, sailing snootily past them with my nose in the air, so my first ever foray into our local cheapie was a furtive affair.

I didn't want anyone to see me enter in case they thought I was on skid row.

I didn't don a wig and sunglasses, but I did keep my head down and stealthily scurried around aisles full of plastic flowers, plastic toys, plastic buckets, and plastic beads.

Then I got to the containers. What an extensive range: round, flat, tall, short, oblong, square. Something inside me went all covetous and I gathered up dozens of each size, every variation.

"Nothing will ever go stale in my house again," I said to the check-out person as I staggered to the counter.

She rang everything up, put it all in the biggest plastic bag I've ever seen, and said: "that will be $9.50 please."

"What? You mean $9.50 for one?"

"No, $9.50 the lot."

I was simultaneously shocked and angry: shocked that I could get so much for so little, and angry I hadn't discovered these cheapie stores before.

After I'd gone home and put everything visible in the kitchen into my lovely containers, I couldn't wait to get back to the cheapie shop the next day to see what else lay in wait that could enhance my life.

The same scenario played out. I bought armloads of stuff, all of it plastic, but hey...don't judge. Once again I staggered to the counter, placed the lot down to be told I owed a whopping $7.50.

So now I'm not only as fresh as a lettuce in a Tupperware crisper, I'm rich with all my savings.


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