Everything is in the right place, including the the facecloth, hanging exactly where it belongs. There are no problems here. Peace reigns. Or so it seems. But doubt had arisen regarding the ladle.

In a postmodern era, probably in the seventies of the previous century, the products were purchased from a shopping centre that appeared along the main road and in which novelty glittered. The ladle was part of a collection of kitchen utensils designed in the colour blue, dark blue, the blue of intense purity. In times now gone, kitchen utensils were made from metal and wood, materials that were available and the obvious ones to use. But these particular utensils were dark blue on purpose. Someone in a factory had thought about the colour and said: “These things should be dark blue, because people will think that looks nice.” The ladle was part of the set, an integral part. And now the ladle was broken. The Bakelite or plastic, who knows which it was, had come loose from the metal. How did that happen? Had it been left in the washing-up water for too long and the glue come unstuck as a result? Or had a child been messing around with it? Considerable doubt and great confusion had arisen. We can’t just throw the ladle in the bin. The perfection of the sacred number five would be destroyed, something would be forever missing, flawlessness would be violated. There was another ladle available. But that wasn’t the point. The point was perfection, which was no longer total and the thought of which greatly grieved these people. Which is why the ladle had to be saved from oblivion, come what may. Those beautiful things had also cost a lot of money, at least 500 Belgian francs back then, but even this was probably irrelevant. Someone from the family had suggested buying the same ladle from the same shopping centre along the main road. But this set had gone out of fashion a long time ago. Since then kitchen utensil design trends had come and gone and come and gone again and it would no longer be possible to find the identical ladle in any shop anywhere anymore. There was nothing for it but to throw the whole load of junk into the bin, all five of the damn blue things, and buy a new, even more postmodern set. But that would, of course, have been ridiculous. The other four things, the small sauce ladle, the skimmer, the masher and the meat fork didn’t really have anything wrong with them. It was just that damn ladle that was no longer perfect and, as a result, had destroyed the perfection of the perfect number five. So the decision was made to stick the ladle back together again with two pieces of sellotape, one round the top and one round the bottom of the handle. It could now be used once more, the ladle could, but nothing would ever be the same again.