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An anthropomorphized коробка

I have a question about whether a turn of phrase which I use in English can be found in Russian as well, with a 1:1 translation.

This came up as I was in my kitchen this weekend. Next to the door lay a box which I did not immediately recognize, and I wondered to myself, What is that box doing on the floor? right before remembering why I had put it there.

I ask that kind of question often - I ask what an inanimate object is doing here or there, or what a certain disgusting piece of food (carrot) is doing on my plate - as if the object or so-called "food" had any will of its own and moved itself there. (When really, it was someone who put it there. In effect, I move the blame from someone, usually myself, and place it on the object; partly for very mildly comedic effect, but mostly because I apparently anthropomorphize without realizing it.)

Then I wondered if there is anything similar in Russian, because I realized it's kind of a silly thing to say in English: the literal response to such a question about the box will always be, "Sitting there, конечно."

In Russian, can one say, Что эта коробка делает на полу? Or will this sound odd and make it sound like the box is animate? Is it better to say something like, Зачем эта коробка находится на полу?

Or perhaps there is another mildly idiomatic way in Russian to phrase this idea, without using делать or зачем?

(Please correct any Russian I typed incorrectly.)


October 23, 2018


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