Opinion: Taking back the refrigerator
I’m on break at the moment from a semi-annual activity I like to call “Taking Back the Refrigerator.” It’s one of several such exercises – “Taking Back the Hall Closet,” “Taking Back the Garage,” “Taking Back the Back Seat Of The Truck” – I go through when I need to clear out the clutter and take a stab at bringing some order into my life.
The fact that I have to do it regularly should tell you that it’s never really much of a stab.
What set it off this time was an event history will record as The Mystery of the Disappearing Taco Filling.
Taco Night last Thursday was its usual great success and as is my practice, I made extra taco filling so I would have leftovers with which to make nachos for my lunch the next day. I put the extra taco filling into a plastic container and placed it in the refrigerator, where it promptly disappeared.
As I looked for it I noticed that the fridge seemed to be abnormally full of items that made no sense … a lone pickle floating in a jar of juice, half a ring of Amish bologna that was approaching antique status, several half-bags of browning salad mixes – and decided it was time to set things right again.
Which gets me to this morning and the archaeological dig through my refrigerator.
I decided to start on the bottom shelf because gravity seemed to have pulled so many items down there. Working carefully, I extracted three jars, each containing one measly dab of fancy mustard, which evidently I thought was too much to throw away. I am an idiot like that sometimes.
Then came the salad, bags of it, all different blends and all destined for the compost bin. A couple seemed to have a head start, in fact. Same for the bag of creepy green stuff, hiding behind a big container of yogurt. I later identified the substance as asparagus. Or make that the slime formerly known as asparagus.
On I dug, removing tubs of yogurt, snack packs of Jell-O, bags of carrots large and small, some green onions that were so hot I couldn’t eat them, and various cheeses. At least I think they were cheeses. I hope they were cheeses.
Out it all went.
On the plus side, I did find a couple of cans of ginger ale and a bottle of non-alcoholic beer.
Then I turned my attention to the meat drawer. Here, I was dealing mostly with remnants … two hot dogs in a bag, lunch meat containers with one slice in them, more cheeses (and this time they had labels so I was sure of their identities, if not their vintages), and a package of bacon that was so salty I intended to take it back to demand a refund. Oops. Forgot.
Now I had a full trash can and a half the fridge to go, which is where I left things a few minutes ago. There’s still another shelf to be explored, and then I’ll have to tackle the big shelf – you know, the one where you keep the milk and juice. God only knows what’s hiding behind those bottles. Things tend to migrate to that part of the fridge.
With any luck, I’ll find that taco filling.
Then I’ll throw it out.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.