Tupperware Testimonial

December 20, 2011


I was in an Army unit in Malaya when I first saw a strait jacket put to use and I guess if Tupperware hadn’t been invented I‘d never have had that experience.

Stores Quartermaster Sergeant (SQMS) Thom or ‘Q’ Thom as he was openly known, or ‘Q’ Tip behind his back, was the warrant officer in charge of the depot’s transport and all its drivers. Tall, gangly and awkward he wore a large, floppy beret more in keeping with an artist’s smock than a soldier’s uniform. He was painfully thin with a protuberant belly and a large overbite. His round eyes gave him a look of permanent puzzlement belying the fact that compared to the other Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs of the unit he was well educated, rumour having it that he had once owned a book.

In the Far East, the official everyday dress was ‘buff’, which meant that all ranks, with the exception of our officers and gentlemen, worked in shorts and stripped to the waist. Distinguishing badges of rank were worn on leather bands on the right wrist. Despite the sun Q Tip remained a sickly white and was definitely not happy in his work. He frequently asked for a transfer but was continually refused by the CO. After one such occasion when one of his drivers asked him for a transfer he lost it completely.
“Transfer, transfer!” he screamed, “Why should a private get one when a warrant officer can’t?”
With that he clawed at his wrist, tore off his watch, smashed it down against the concrete floor squealing, “Rank should have its privileges!” belatedly realising, that being right-handed, he had demonstrated his rage with the wrong wristband.

Although not happy at work Q Tip apparently did not fare much better at home. On the morning of his attack he entered the Motor Transport Office proclaiming that if he had cheese in his sandwiches just one more time he would hang for his wife. We watched with interest as he opened his lunch box and lifted the corner of the top sandwich —and erupted!

With an animalistic screech he dumped the contents of the box into a wastebin and threw the lid of the box in after them. Grabbing the diagonal corners of the Tupperware container he attempted to tear the box asunder —and failed. Shifting his grip to the other corners he held the box in front of his chest and strained to rend it apart. He threw it to the floor and jumped on it with his studded ammunition boots. The box flattened briefly, allowing him to hope that his destructive passion had been successful, before plopping— defiantly— back into shape.

He snatched the container from the floor, twisted it in a two handed strangle hold and raised it to his mouth where he gripped it in a clench of viciously closed teeth and tore at it. Lower and upper dentures shot across the room as his bite could not hold the non-tearable, still unmarked, and indestructible but deadly Tupperware. Dropping the box onto his desk he pounded it furiously with both fists but as the plastic continued to defy him, he weakened, collapsed in his chair and sobbed brokenly.

Someone had sent for the medics, who arrived but unfortunately Q Tip had recovered his strength somewhat, became violent and antagonised them so that the restraint jacket was produced and he was taken off to hospital. He never came back to the unit and rumour had it he was sent to a small backwater unit in Brackley, in the UK.

I often wondered if he thanked his wife properly for initiating his transfer.

3 Responses to “Tupperware Testimonial”


  1. Yet another visual feast…thank you!
    And the fine folks at Tupperware thank you.

  2. Gary Dennett Says:

    Another funny tale. I wonder just how much truth is in supposedly fictional stories.

  3. Robert Davidson Says:

    Me too. I think the answer to this one is in the opening sentence, Gary.


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