The chips packet dilemma

I was always told, ‘you can achieve anything you set your mind to’. Sometimes the power of the mind is not enough. You know what I mean? A task is given and you think it’s going to be a piece of cake… but it was no cake. I was roasted slow cooked pork. Everything you learned till that point becomes redundant. Time slows down and you just sit there thinking — where did I go wrong? (I lost a friend… somewhere along in the bitterness) I had one such moment a couple of weeks ago. 
 I was traveling to Singapore to do some comedy. I chose to stay at a backpacker hostel because I own a backpack and that’s the only selection criteria. Although there were people there with suitcases, but and the other backpackers and I keep our distance from those creeps. I was part of the cool group at the hostel. (Yaay!) We decided to get together and have a few beers on the roof that night. I was told to bring the chips packets and someone else was sent to get the beers. We sat there and told stories from our travels as the beers started to disappear from the bucket of ice. One the girls from Germany looked at me and said: “Hey funny brown dude where are the chips?”. I was killing it with my jokes that night and these guys loved me. I’ve had many good shows and this night was better than most of them. I was not even doing material. I looked at the german chick and went “here are the chips, I guess you did Nazi them”. That laughs burst out again, people Hi5-ing and saying cheers to my humor. But who knew this glory will be short lived. 
 I pull out a bag of chips and tugged on it from both sides like you would open one. The packet would not tear. All eyes were on me. I tried again, this time with grunt noises to show to my peers that the chips packet was actually quite the hardass. I failed again. I started to turn the packet in my palm, trying to find a “Tear here” message, there was no message. This was getting embarrassing. I was now looking at the edges to see if there was some kind of a defect I could use to break open this packet. It was a perfect chips packet with smooth edges. At this point, everyone was doubting my abilities as a human. People asking under their breath “Do they not have chips in India?” I could also imagine most of them thinking if I was part of the suitcase group and got here in disguise. I was going to use a key to puncture this bag of air, but I realized the hostel gives Keycards and my padlock was a number lock. I had given up. My lack of muscle was not a compensation for my humor. I… had… failed!

I was just like any one of them now, except I couldn’t even open a bag of chips. Oh well, I accepted defeat and pass the packet to the someone who looked like they lift weights for a living. You know, those bulky guys! Guess what? He tugged on the ends of the packet and it would not open. It was not me, it was the packet. Everyone laughed and pointed fingers at the muscle man. I picked my moment and said “Do you even lift weights or do you just have bicep fat?”. People laugh at anything after that many beers. I got my hi-5s and they did not think I was lame anymore.
 Also, Finally we pulled out a lighter and burnt a hole in the bag and there came the chips. In the war of Man vs. Food… Fire won!

Kritarth Srinivasan
 Writer / Standup Comedian / Mostly Dancing

Originally published at on March 9, 2017.