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Destroy all Monsters

I confess I’m not the best house-husband. Sure I do some chores around here, but I’ll never be Marie Kondo and many times if it weren’t for Tuffy P (who sees everything), I simply wouldn’t notice many things until desperate measures are required. This was the case with our fridge. It was really beyond cluttered. There were – let’s say a few – science projects happening, and I have little doubt that if I didn’t get to it, Godzilla might hatch in there and burst out of the fridge and we’d have to call in the army and all that jazz.

We have an old and modest-sized fridge. It has one feature; it keeps stuff cold. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. In fact, it has two features. The front door of the fridge is covered in mosaics, and that’s a feature we really enjoy. The weight of the mosaics has caused the door to sag a wee bit, and this caused the light to fail to shut off when the door closed. Fortunately, Gorilla tape took care of this little problem nicely. We thought about buying a new fridge a few years ago, but then we came to our senses. I have no idea how old this one is, but it keeps on cooling.

How many open jars of mustard is it reasonable for one fridge to hold? True, we like our mustard, but still, it was almost silly. I ditched everything obviously past it’s expiry date. I ditched everything that looked like it ought to be past its expiry date. I ditched everything that didn’t have any expiry date. I ditched the can of anchovies I opened before last Christmas. I ditched the unidentifiable vegetable and cheese matter. I ditched the jar of pasta sauce I can’t remember opening.

Truth be told, our now very clean fridge is almost empty, and Godzilla will have to emerge in somebody else’s place.


  1. This house has a similar problem. The Engineer, for all that engineers are supposed to be organized people, has zero concept of putting things in a fridge in any sort of order, which I had to live with for a while before realizing it was a thing. So periodically these kinds of clear-outs happen. Here it’s the last half cup of homemade vegetable soup that ferments silently and evilly in some recess of the top shelf until the day I realize I’ve got to take charge of the chaos, and the grisly effect of the mephitic fumes.

    Once, for my sins — over forty years ago — I cleaned a fridge for the young stud muffin I was dating and his father, after his mom had to go to the hospital and turned out to be very ill indeed. My intention was to cook some food that these two classically Helpless Males ™ could heat up in the absence of the woman they’d expected to feed them for years. I made the horrible discovery that she had apparently been going to the Commissary (they were military) with the identical shopping list week after week forever regardless of actual need, so that there were freezer-burned steaks you could snap over your knee, half eaten Technicolor yogurt over a year past the pull date, and in the pantry — which was large, airy and enviable — a full seventy boxes of powdered pudding mixes including a large amount of the detestable and plasticky “Whip’N’Chill.” At the climax of the task, I sank a can opener into a can of evaporated milk only to have the contents arc seven feet across the room in a pressurized streak of putrified iridescent orange. His parents never forgave me for witnessing their shame. No good deed goes unpunished. … Just in case you needed to know that it gets a lot worse than at your place.

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