One day, I looked into the ocean – you can do that these days – just in time to see the last caper on earth make its journey from land to deep water. Its time had come, after nearly a decade of floating alone in a jar of vinegar at the back of someone’s fridge.

The last caper bobbed about on the surface of the water for a while, gaining weight, gaining salt, catching some run. Eventually it began a steady, though hardly graceful, descent. It's a reliable bud, the caper: by the time it reached the bottom, it had adapted to the currents and the cold and the dark.

The last caper was no trendsetter. The last blue whale was the first to go, although admittedly it was already ocean-dwelling. The last cigarette butt soon followed, flicked from the hand of the last smoker. The whale and the cigarette butt became an item: some say it was expediency or loneliness or desperation, but love is love.

Since then, there have been almost daily descents, resulting in very few problems. The last crocodile broke etiquette, though no actual laws, by attempting to eat the last goat as they went down together. The last goat took it in its stride. ‘I would have eaten the crocodile,’ it is reported to have said, ‘if it would have let me.’

The last box of popcorn panicked the day before it was scheduled to descend. Fearing it would turn soggy when it hit the water, despites assurances to the contrary from officialdom, it coated itself in several layers of varnish. The Committee of Last Things ruled that it was now a replica, and an ugly one at that. At great expense, the committee recommissioned a movie theatre to make a new, authentic last box of popcorn.

There is harmony of sorts at the bottom of the ocean, a sense of shared purpose. The last caper misses the solitude of its jar, but it knows that it is better to be stuck in yet another inane conversation with the last lion and the last sea lion than to be sitting like a green pimple atop a steaming bowl of pesto, waiting for the fork of death to scoop you up and dump you down some human’s throat. And the caper likes being the last of its kind – the gravitas, the grandeur.