#ShortStory: Fine China – Doyin Alagbe

Timothy B. Teacup was made of the finest china ever. He was one of the first generation teacups— from a time when people took tea very seriously. Timothy and his family belonged to very special people too. The Royal Family of This England. This meant Timothy and his family (but mostly Timothy) were used a lot during important meeting with other royalty.

Other dishware envied the tea cup family, so much that when they passed through the maids’ hands for washing, the spoons, plates, forks and knives whispered in awe and admiration. Everyone wanted to be a teacup.

However, like every family, the teacups had a sort of black sheep. While everyone was decorated in florals of red and black and their bodies were perfectly made of the finest ceramic, Timothy ‘Chip’ Teacup Jr had a slight problem. On his brim was a chip, and it made him somewhat useless. No one would serve tea in a chipped cup, especially not to royalty. So Timothy was seldom used, and in fact, became ostracized from the rest of the teacup family. Even the other dishware never revered him like they did other members of his family. What was worse, his father Timothy Sr never paid him any attention. Who would imagine that the queen’s favorite teacup would have had a son that was deformed?

Chip spent many of his days in solitude, oftentimes watching his family get used in big lunches and events. One day though, Chip decided he had had just about enough of the nonsense. He walked up to his father while he was preparing himself for the Queen’s lunch with the Emperor of Japan.

“Hi Dad! It’s been a while! How are you?” he said, his eyes bright with pride. His father was just awesome.

“What do you want?” replied Timothy. He looked at his son in contempt and disappointment. Chip almost shrunk.

“Well… I was wondering if I could serve with you today. You know it’s been a long time since that happened. Matter of fact it’s never happened, so maybe we could…”

Timothy waved a handle in Chip’s face, cutting him short. He looked at Chip from brim to saucer, shook his head and said “You’re worthless. No one wants a broken teacup around. Go dump yourself in a bin”.

Chip’s heart was broken. Sure, his father had always neglected him, but this was deep. Watching his father dismiss him made him mad with anger, and next thing Chip knew, he made a mad dash for him and knocked Timothy off the table.


Looking over the edge, Chip could see his father was shattered into a hundred pieces. At first, he was shaken, but then he had never felt this good in his entire life. The Almighty Timothy Teacup was gone. A maid rushed into the room, probably having heard the crash, and placed her hands on her head when she realised it was the Queen’s favorite cup that was broken.

Looking around, she saw Chip on the table and had the idea to pass up Chip as Timothy. After all, they did look the same. She noticed the chip on his brim and picked up a piece of Timothy’s broken frame. By some stroke of luck, it fit, and with a bit of glue, Chip was looking spiffy.

When Chip had been born, a lot of dishwares said he looked a lot like his father, hence the sharing of first names. With a chip off the old block, however, Chip had become Timothy B. Teacup, and there was never a happier Teacup.

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