There’s an alien living in my refrigerator. I saw it when I moved aside the ketchup so I could find a pudding cup–which no, is not on my diet. Anyway, underneath the bag of leftover sliced pineapple which was being held down by the ketchup was a small, black, furry thing.
And I swear to you, it winked at me.
I never used to have this problem. In the days before Junior, nothing grew in my refrigerator. I never found any previously undiscovered life forms lurking behind the ketchup, because frankly, I didn’t have ketchup in the refrigerator. In the days before Junior, I had a small fridge. It held martini olives, beer and the occasional box of leftover sushi.
Unfortunately, children do not survive on martini olives, beer or leftover sushi. They eat weird stuff like vegetables, yoghurt and huge containers of milk. And to store all those things, you need a really large fridge. So when Junior came along, we bought a refrigerator the size of the Titanic.
And that’s when I started finding aliens.
Now, I’m pretty sure this is a bad thing. And I’m pretty sure there are super moms out there who clean their refrigerators daily. Nothing grows in super mom’s fridge. The shelves sparkle. The vegetable bins don’t have liquefied lettuce floating in them. And super moms can see into plastic containers without peering through a layer of tomato sauce stain.
I’m not one of those moms. I’m what you might call “domestically challenged.” And a large fridge doesn’t help. There’s too much space in which leftovers can hide. And truthfully, I’ve been known to ignore the mess in the fridge until it’s so full, the door won’t shut.
At that point, the fridge is usually pretty gross. To clean it requires a gargantuan effort on my part. I wear rubber gloves and carry tongs. I use the tongs to remove anything so disgusting even I wouldn’t touch it. They also come in handy when I have to beat new life forms into submission before making the garbage disposal eat them. I did try wearing a gas mask once—but it obscured my view into the cracks and crevices of the lunchmeat bin, so I stopped.
Once I’m dressed for the attack, I start at the top. I move aside the various soda bottles that are half full; thanks to Junior. He’s only allowed one soda per day, so he likes to make them last. And last. And last. But once they’re gone, I can move onto the really icky part.
These are the misshapen lumps of aluminum foil that live in my fridge. You never know what you will find in mystery foil. It could be leftover pizza. It could be mealworms for the lizard. It could be a turkey leg from last Thanksgiving. It could be anything—that’s what makes mystery foil so frightening. You never know if what’s inside is going to ooze out and attack you.
Of course, if I were super mom this would never happen. The mystery rolls would be neatly labeled with the contents and dated. The plastic containers would not have a trace of tomato sauce stain on them. And I wouldn’t have any new life forms living in my fridge.
On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that my fridge will come in handy this school year. Surely Junior will get extra credit in natural science class when he brings one of my mystery foil wrapped aliens to school.
See? There’s always a bright side.