Now, in addition to Upstairs and Downstairs, we can listen in on the gossip from the Pantry Shelf. Thus, Benabo chooses to imagine conversations among the Dessert Plates--""Ice cream changes you to a Goddess. . . but then you're attractive whatever you wear."" And he ennobles the ultimate tragic end of all crockery by envisioning a full-scale war that erupts when the Prince of the Nursery Plates dopes with the Princess of the Dinner China (they're married in the Cocktail Cabinet, attended by paper serviettes). Both the Prince and Princess end up dead and buried out by the flowerbed--until one night a flock of birds digs them up and flys off into the sky with them. The odd thing is that Benabo actually seems to expect us to be touched and uplifted by this; instead complicated maneuvers and plaintive dialogues soon become unbearably tedious. It takes a writer like Carl Sandburg to pull this sort of thing off (see ""Many, Many Weddings in One Comer House"" in the Rootabaga Stories). Brian Benabo is not a writer like Carl Sandburg.