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Rated: E · Draft · Satire · #1487903
I use to eat a lot of natural foods until I heard that most people die of natural causes.
Back when I was a young whippersnapper, our refrigerator (then called an icebox) remained empty most of the time. I reckon that's because granny couldn't afford to pay the iceman and what went into the icebox had to be consumed rather quickly before it spoiled. But, with the advent of the modern refrigerator, empty is certainly a word of the past.

Come Holiday time, one of my implied chores around our house (meaning that I'm just about the only one who bravely undertakes the chore) is cleaning out our refrigerator. This is a considerable undertaking when you take into account that it is not done very often and that my family is a certified den of pack rats.

My wife inherited these survival traits from her mother and passed them down to our daughters. The reason I use the word survival is the fact that quite often I find things in our refrigerator that must have been stashed there in fear of a coming famine, a nuclear holocaust, or in anticipation of the end of civilization.

For example, a bowl with half a spoon of peas and a bag with one old scrawny withered carrot. A jelly jar with less than a teaspoon of jelly in it. A butter dish with enough butter sticking to the sides for one good scrape, and a pack of bologna with one very lonely hard slice in it. I am certain these items were stored there to hold starvation from our door in 'a just-in-case' situation.

During my latest mission to clean the fridge, which had to be done before Halloween so room could be made for a shopping binge to get all those goodies for our holiday feasts, I ran into some rather remarkable things.

In the freezer I discovered one fossilized pork chop, two bagels the consistency of ceramic pottery, a half melted tub of ice-cream that I remembered buying for Memorial Day five months earlier, a spoon (with nothing on it), and some odds and ends that CSI probably could not identify. I was lucky this time; I've previously found a pair of eyeglasses, set of earrings, a used Band-Aid, a collapsed tennis ball, a new writing pen, A TV Remote (that's where it went), a golf ball (I don't golf) and other unusual items in the freezer.

Moving down to the more difficult mission of the refrigerator in general, which was so full I couldn't see the shelves or back walls, I strengthened my resolve and charged ahead like a good paratrooper.

Some items I removed I cannot even attempt to describe. There was one jar in the back, the label long since gone, which contained a pungent growth of mildew, enough to make a ton of penicillin.

My wife must have been collecting pickle jars, for I removed over half a dozen of them of all sizes. The reason I say jars is that most of them were either empty or contained one wrinkled pickle or part of a pickle or what may have once been a pickle.

The salad crisper was the hardest job. I don't know why they call it the crisper because the things I found there were far beyond any description of crisp. In fact, just about everything I found I know I had seen in Vietnam, for it looked as if it had been sprayed with Agent Orange, all slimy and falling apart.

By the time I finished my odious chore, both the dishwasher and sink were full of empty dishes and I had filled two large garbage bags with empty jars, boxes, and unidentifiable items. Some of the left-overs (I think they were once edible) I gave to the pets, while other items, not even the animals were brave enough to eat.

When my wife came home to see a sparkling clean and 'empty' refrigerator, her first remark was, "Did you throw away that crème cheese I was saving?"

What crème cheese? I remember a small block of something that resembled a hairy bar of soap, but no crème cheese! I was afraid for a second she was going to ask what happened to that piece of wedding cake I discarded. I couldn't even remember which wedding it came from.

Could it have been ours from 40 years ago?
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