CLASS RECORD: The enormous pressure cooker PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 11:30

BY Christine Y. Guinacaran


Jerwin was penniless because of his big pressure cooker.

He was bound to this enormous kitchen gadget, that if somebody suggested a practical income-generating idea, the answer was always the same, “ I have a big pressure cooker which could make  sardine business.”

He said tamban was very cheap, and if his wife would just make sardines and sell it to his neighbors and some offices, they can make a lot of profit.  Why, they could even have a sardine factory one day!

But his wife had her misgivings regarding this idea, for she was thinking of competition. There were lots of sardines in the grocery and they were not expensive; not only that, the consumers had other choices like noodles, canned goods and dried fish if they wanted something fast and easy to eat. They would not  really hanker for their home made sardines.

ButJerwin would say,  “For as long as there are people around us, there would always be a market for our sardines.”

Weren’t the beginnings of many businesses modest?  How about Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)?  Did it not just start with 65-year-old bankrupt  Colonel Sanders,using a pressure cooker to pressure fry his fried chicken at the side of the road, using his own dining table to serve his customers?

“You never can tell what fortunes a pressure cooker can bring especially in a place where tamban is in abundance”, such were the musings of Jerwin.

But thinking of all the work sardine business entails, like sanitizing the bottles,  going house to house replaying the business talk; and what if somebody’s stomach got upset with something else, and the sardines was blamed? And what if it would not be sold out? What would they do with all the sardines? The wife was overwhelmed with all these anticipations!

Even Jerwin, the brains of this phantom business, lacked the motivation to do it himself.  Maybe he had no business acumen, or at the back of his mind, he knew that his wife was right. But whatever the reasons were, the great, big pressure cooker had been sitting idly under the sink  since his great, great aunt gave it to him eight years ago.

But still he never lost visions of himself as a sardine magnate  when the right time came.

But of course while waiting for that great day to arrive, there were mouths to feed and children to send to school. The money sent to him irregularly by his sister abroad was not enough.

“ When can I start making money with my pressure cooker?” he lamented one day,  after spotting the giant dusty pressure cooker sitting miserably with old news papers and some other broken kitchen gadgets.

Then somebody gave a simple suggestion: Sell the pressure cooker, and start a more lucrative business.