As the Chief Domestic Officer of our family. I’m usually pretty fastidious about the cleanliness of my home. But every once in a while, something escapes my attention, and then, before I know it, we have a disturbing situation on our hands.
Such is the case with my refrigerator.
“Something in the fridge has gone bad,” said my husband, slamming the refrigerator door on the offending smell.
“I may have forgotten to throw something out,” said I, the likely guilty party.
“Well, don’t worry about it,” he said. “At this point, whatever it is can probably walk itself to the garbage.”
I will typically empty out the leftovers once a week. But occasionally a leftover will be pushed to the back of the fridge, out of sight and out of the smell zone, until it gets so bad we have to bring in a crime scene clean-up crew to take care of it.
Typically, the offending culprit is just one lone container and the stinkified aroma is not that bad. In this case though, the smell was so horrific that it was clear there might be multiple former leftovers that had transmutated into things with consciousness, and also, possibly, hair. Knowing that the endeavor of finding and disposing of the problem could singe my nose hairs or otherwise expose me to a life-threatening health hazard, I donned rubber gloves, a rain poncho, and a surgical mask. Experience had taught me that when it comes to rotting leftovers, you can never be too careful.
“Okay, save the dog and yourself,” I announced. “I’m going in.”
My husband did not leave, though. He offered to help, proving once again that love is not only blind, it is also olfactorily-challenged. After he put on his own personal hazmat suit, we opened the fridge and began clearing out the items in the front that we suspected were blocking the offending items in the back. We soon came upon four storage containers that looked and smelled suspect. My husband opened the first one.
“What is it … or rather what was it?” he asked, stepping back for fear that the thing in the container would leap out, consume him, and then consume the house, the city, and all the people in it.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “Maybe fish?” We both stared at the former fish and realized we no longer had fish, but we did have an excellent source of home grown penicillin.
We opened another container and decided that not only did the contents have to go, so did the container itself.
“I’m afraid to open the next one,” said my husband as he reached for the third storage container.
“Every time I open one I think it couldn’t be as bad as the last one and it’s worse.”
“I know,” I said. “It’s like the kitchen version of Chernobyl.”
“I think we’re in over our heads,” he said. “We need a biohazard team to contain the problem.”
“No, we can do this,” I assured him through my mask. “There’s just one more container.”
As we pried open the top, my son walked into the room, assessed the situation, and then peered into the Pyrex.
“Oh, hey! I was wondering what happened to my leftover pizza,” he said.
I raised an eyebrow at him.
“It was just biding its time before it could take over the world,” I said.
“Oh cool,” he replied. “Do you think I can still eat it?”
You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeckerman and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.