Open Mouth, Insert...

Too Much Information (or Exercising the Gag Reflex)

It's only six days into the new year, and I'm horribly tempted to add another resolution to my list: never put anything perishable in my refridgerator ever again. It's probably doomed to failure, which is why I won't put it on my list of resolutions. But I am tempted. And those of you who are smart enough to read the title of the post, notice the word "refridgerator" three sentences back and put the two together are already probably cringing in the awful realization of what must have happened. I'll torture you with the details anyway. This past Sunday, I had my parents over for dinner and to watch some football.

So, this past weekend, I Cleaned.

And by late morning on Sunday I started in on my kitchen, the last thing I needed to do. I did a couple of dishwasher loads to wash what dirty dishes I had and cleared off the garbage that had accumulated. Then I decided it was time to clean out the refridgerator and freezer. Now, with a steady diet of frozen dinners and snack foods (which I will hopefully be weaning myself from this year) I didn't use the refridgerator much over the past year. It ended up as a repository for restaurant doggie bags and leftover food from my frequent visits to my parents' place; where food would be placed and promptly forgotten. The error of that use of the fridge came back to me the moment I opened the door and felt as much as smelled the spectacularly pungent odor of whatever was rotting within.

Now, it would have been a simple matter if the only thing I had to do was shovel everything into a garbage bag and tote the whole thing--at the furthest edge of my arm's length I could allow while still gripping the bag--to the nearest dumpster. And indeed, that was where most of it went. However, there were dishes in there that I needed to salvage--one of my plates, and a casserole dish and two Tupperware dishes that belonged to my mom. So those needed to be cleaned. And to be cleaned, they needed to be opened. I opened the first one (a Tupperware dish that held what was left of peas and ham), I ran from the kitchen to the bathroom coughing and gagging just shy of the point of vomiting. Taking a couple of moments to settle down and take deep breaths, a scrambled back into the kitchen to get back to work. A couple of minutes of work would pass before I was again overcome and had to flee.

After two hours of this, and after I opened the entire apartment up to let the wind blow the stench out (and one phone call to my brother in New York to ask about how to kill the stench in the disposal unit), the kitchen was clean. The refridgerator was clean and completely bare. And I had an hour to spare before my folks showed up. Plenty of time to run over to the grocery store and make a restocking run. Yes, I made sure that the only refridgeratable items I bought were soda and juices--stuff I know I would consume long before they could go bad.

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