Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It is what many of us do and love doing. Done to release stress or to combat boredom, many consider it the height of gratification. All you need are your fingers and the plump surface. You can do it by yourself or along with a partner. The Japanese have made it an art. There are songs about it and virtual avatars of it too. Why, it has even been used in Fashion. Few can deny the appeal of the bubble wrap or resist it either.
Of course, its primary function is to pack fragile objects, but its poppability accounts for its popularity. My staff room New Year gift exchange parties invariably found some of us bursting the bubbles on the packing at the end of it. Wild horses or even the most delicious food couldn’t drag us from the frantic gaming. Aficionados of the sport who did not get one would be magnanimously allowed to share a sheet. There are those who pop the bubbles in a random fashion, while others are more meticulous, completing a row or a patch at a time. I have heard of people laying down whole sheets and rolling around on them or driving a car over them. Apparently, if you ball up the bubble wrap and press down on it, quite a big bang happens. Another method is to twist the wrap and wring it to produce a rapid round of pops. I for one don’t prefer this way – it is like swallowing your milk chocolate rather than nibbling at it. Whatever the method may be, the popper does not give up until the very last bubble has been killed. And then you run your hands over the vanquished blisters probing for signs of life. It has been found that on leaving a deflated bubble wrap for a while, some bubbles breathe in remaining bits of air and struggle back to feeble life.
Apparently, the word ‘bubble wrap’ was initially a trade name and then it became generic. And at first it was designed to coat walls. An interesting idea, since your walls would be as entertaining as anything else. I am an unabashed bubble pop fan. Once an acquaintance, who was otherwise occupied, left his little daughter with me for a day with the dire warning that I was a ‘teacher’. ( Parents often do that – treat us as if we were explosives) I tried to interest her in games, colouring, stories and cartoons and failed. However I found a kindred spirit in her as we held a bubble wrap on either side and burst it together. She is grown a bit now, but when we meet, we both remember sharing an afternoon of simple pleasure.