I’m guessing here that I’m not the only one whose life saunters merrily along until that moment when I discover after opening the refrigerator door that the contents have become a no man’s land of chaos and unidentified life forms packed so skillfully together that the remaining spaces could be measured only by a micrometer.
My thrifty nature is responsible for much of the problem. If, for example, there is a cup of cooked rice left from chop suey, a smidge of spaghetti sauce, a fragment of mushroom omelet, the mere memory of a pork chop, or crumb of cheese, my brain concocts an instant fantasy of gourmet creations for later, worthy of the Food Channel. If I were to turn loose the contestants on the cable cooking show, “Chopped” on the contents of the fridge on any given day, their resulting culinary creations could probably feed a small village for several days.
If I had the time and inclination to clean out the fridge contents today, I would have to discard such things as a jar of capers from 2008, which has no doubt capered its last, a container of what may be either plump raisins, or old radishes, and some geriatric celery too old and limp now even to stand on its own without crutches.
I’m certain that there may be bacteriologists somewhere, who if they directed their full attention and funding to the study of that fridge’s contents, might find cures to any number of current diseases, not to mention the discovery of any number of fascinating new illness-causing microbes. Who knows? So before I roll up my sleeves and put on my medical mask to clean out the many remnants and recollections of those former meals, maybe I should pause to consider the possibility, however remote, that something like that little container of expired tomato soup could provide a cure for cancer or diabetes. Who am I to dismiss such a possibility by throwing it away? I’ll clean the garage first.
Finally, I would like to think that when I die, if my body is found at home, having expired from starvation due to an empty but perfectly clean refrigerator, my dream would be that the fridge is at last pristine in its lack of any leftovers and that those who find me will be impressed beyond measure if they look inside it. “Well, this guy was certainly clean and organized, Pete. Look at the inside of this fridge. There’s nothing there. Cleanest one I’ve ever seen!” JB