One of the things that I did do in the last week was my monthly responsibility with our work kitchen. In other words, I am on kitchen duty this month. This has benefits and drawbacks. For instance, there has been a fairly constant stream of treats and goodies and num-nums and such, given that we’re all holidayish, and so I can go in and say “oh gosh and golly, look at this terrible mess in the form of a huge plate of sugar cookies or a tray of sloppy, juicy holiday pears – I shall be noble and clean them!” (and by “clean them” I mean “eat them”. And by “noble” I mean “greedy, greedy, oh so greedy…”) On the other hand, I kept hearing people complaining about the lack of space in the fridge due to stacks of abandoned food and such, and at last I could avoid it no more, so I decided that I’d clean out the fridge.
So as to get some official credit for my creativity building up to the fridge chore, I present to you “Cleaning the Fridge: an email drama in three parts. Plus one.” Enjoy!
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 11:50 AM
Subject: Fridge cleaning on Friday
Looks like it’s time again to take a blowtorch to the fridge in our kitchen. I’ll be “disposing” of anything toxic or semi-toxic at the midpoint of the day on Friday, so please take a minute or two in the meantime to see if there’s anything in there to which you have a sentimental attachment. Thanks!
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 8:10 AM
Subject: Fridge Reminder – the Second Coming
OK, just another reminder that everything in the fridge currently learning to speak and reason will be hitting the trash come midday on Friday. If you’ve not yet achieved “sentient tuna salad” by then and you want your science experiment to go a little longer you’ll want to move it to your home laboratory. Thanks all!
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 9:18 AM
Subject: Fridge Reminder -- the Final Chapter!!!
OK, so I will be attacking our fridge with the standard tools (gloves, garbage bag, blowtorch, wooden stake, etc.) right after lunch today (1-ish). So this is your very last, bar none, no exceptions, hasta-la-vista and adios muchachos chance to find new homes for anything you’ve been cultivating in there. I will show no mercy, I will take no prisoners and I will suffer no whining if your pet chicken burrito is sacrificed to the sanitation gods.
Consider yourself warned. (cue dramatic movie music here.)
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 11:18 AM
Subject: The Fridge Cleaning - epilogue
So the deed is done, and I’ve scheduled my three follow-up doctor visits for the required inoculation shots and 20-minute long hugs. And in case anyone thinks that this was not a valuable and informative use of my time, I present you this:
Things I learned about my new place of employment while excavating the cold box in the kitchen:
- Folks around here buy yogurt, so to look health-conscious and fit and spry. But they don’t actually eat yogurt.
- 20 oz. of soda is just way too much soda for one serving – better to make your Mountain Dew or Diet Pepsi stretch over several days. Months. Years. Whatever.
- Hummus sweats when it’s nervous.
- As it turns out, this fridge DOES have a freezer! It’s cleverly disguised as “the back wall of the fridge”, as anything that actually touches the back of the fridge will freeze solid. (Just like at my house.)
- If left alone in a dark space Lean Cuisine frozen meals will reproduce much like rabbits. Really cold rabbits.
- The only dessert that gets forgotten in a fridge is sugar-free dessert.
- There was a potluck in the office sometime around March of 2006. Someone brought salad. And dressing.
- The fridge hasn’t had a serious cleaning since sometime around March of 2006.
- Mold will grow on mustard after all. Fierce, hearty mold which could probably also be used to strip paint or remove a wart.
- If you warn people that you’re going to clean the fridge, most will honestly believe that they have nothing in that fridge to worry about.
- Most of those people will be wrong.
- It takes about four hours for an empty fridge to fill right back up.