Upon Pang Hill, there is a plaque, battered and burnished and copper and commemorative, affixed to a stone marking the spot once occupied by the Pang Hill Plop Pit, the pit into which generations of tinies from Pang Hill Orphanage plopped things discarded and abandoned. Incessant rainfall in those parts meant that there was forever a puddle at the bottom of the pit, and the presence of the puddle meant that when a thing discarded or abandoned was tossed into it, the thing made a plop as, tossed and falling, it landed in the puddle. Oft times the depth of the puddle was such that the plopping thing was wholly submerged under the rainwater. Sometimes, when rainfall was light, was but a drizzle, much of the puddle water would leach into the muck, and the puddle become shallow, and then the thing discarded or lost would remain visible, to those who looked, until a storm came, and the puddle level rose, and the waters covered the tossed-away abandonee.
Once a week, on Thursday mornings, the Pang Hill Plop Pit became a bubbling fizzing fuming frothing gaseous pit. The Orphanage Janitor emptied into it numerous pailfuls of nigh-impossibly corrosive acid, which dissolved all the items tossed and plopped into the puddle during the previous seven days. By dusk on Thursdays the acid had done its work and further rainfall served to dilute the puddle and it ceased to bubble and fizz and fume and froth.
We have a record of all that was tossed away to plop into the Plop Pit, for the orphans were charged to maintain log books. Here are some telling extracts, from a recent compilation published by the Pang Hill Orphanage Documentary Archive. I have obliterated the dates, through a lack of pernicketiness.
Orphan Carstairs. Chucked into the plop pit several lobster pots of no further use since the imposition of the revised sea creature protocol.
Orphan Brandt. Up bright and early that day, feeling awful, and out to take a turn by the Pang Hill Plop Pit, and tossed into it cheesecloth trousers rent in many places following bramble bush and hornets mishap.
Orphan Cuddy. Into the pit plopped wrench, awl, adze, cutters and pincers.
Orphan Furbelow. Dun flap o’ tarp, eggs o’ larks, talc ‘n’ seed sprinkler, Jap keg lid, sconce ‘n’ punnet. All thrown into the Pit o’ Plops, all sank in the puddle, to be forgot.
Yet due to the log books, nothing is forgotten. Tossed away, plopped into the pit, discarded and abandoned and eaten by the janitor’s acid, every last item is granted immortality. The orphans themselves have perished, the long line of janitors too, the Orphanage crumbled to ruin, even the battered and burnished and copper and commemorative sign hangs from a single rusty nail and will one day fall and be buried in the muck. Pang Hill itself will be flattened by tectonic shifts or cataclysm. The sound of the plops, though, travels on, across unimaginable distances, in space and time, and with it the memory of all that was discarded, of all that was abandoned, of all things.