The Battle of the Fridge
My biggest housekeeping problem as a single working mother is the left over food in the fridge, the left over food that has been so left over you can't tell what it used to be.
In my fridge it gets real bad. Want to know how I can tell? I call the dog over when I open the door. If he passes out from the stench then I know it is past time to clean it. What is amazing, when it is time to clear out the fridge I am the only one in the house!
I also can tell it is time to clean the refrigerator when something waves at me. There is nothing scarier than to have some blue fuzzy thing waving at you from the inside of your icebox. It will spook you for sure.
The one and only good thing about the state of my refrigerator is that I have an over abundant supply of science experiments. One of my brilliant progenys won second place for 'Alien Life Forms'. It was a hit with the others and she became popular with the 'in' crowd. They made her science project mascot of the class and there was talk of the Tonight Show.
Her sibling started selling some of these life forms to other children for their science fair projects. He also started to charge the kids in the neighborhood two dollars to see what was in the 'laboratory'.
Cleaning day is a horrendous challenge. I have to wear the appropriate garb. A one-piece flame retardant suit with Velcro at the wrists, neck, and ankles. In case something escapes it can't get in and get me.
I wear a gas mask and hard hat. Long leather gloves that come up to my elbows. Combat boots complete my ensemble and I am now dressed for the battle.
My weapons are simple but very effective.
I put the cats upstairs in a room so they won't get hurt and the dog outside in the yard so he won't get in the way. Putting on Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in the compact disc player and cranking up the volume I am ready. With the music at full blast I fight for life, liberty, and the inalienable right to a clean refrigerator.
I open the door cautiously. Peering around the top I reconnoiter. In a battle situation you must know where the enemy is.
There! To the left on the second shelf! A disgusting yellow green lump with long stringy-looking bits hanging off the dish. I briefly wonder what it used to be while I slowly reach for my tongs. So far it hasn't seen me. I have to be careful though. As a veteran of grunge wars I know how vicious the enemy can be.
I slowly reach towards the disgusting mass that seems to pulsate with a life of its own. So far it seems unaware of my presence. Unbeknownst to me a mass of blue gray sponge fungus on the top shelf has seen me. Before I know it, projectiles of gook that explode on contact besiege me, emitting spores. The gas mask proves its worth once more but the kitchen must now be wiped down thoroughly in case of mass spore infection. Nasty business!
I reach for the blue goop and dispose of it in the garbage can I have ready. By this time the green mound knows of my existence and is lobbing masses of gooey organic rockets that make a slurping noise when they hit my goggles and slowly slide down leaving a slime trail any slug would be envious of.
I hurriedly attack and subdue the gruesome growth and after putting the enemy in the garbage can, I tie the bag off and take it outside to dispose of it. I hear the screeches of the little beasties but ignore them. I know better than to open that bag.
I run back to the scene just in time to see some orange glob of slime making its slithering escape across the floor. Though harmless looking and much smaller, I approach cautiously.
It turns to see me and, hissing in a menacing manner, rises up and expands itself. Growing to three times its original bulk it is now the size of a small cat. Hissing and screeching it comes at me leaving a trail of muck I would not have believed if I hadn't seen it.
I keep the tongs out in front of me and reach for the net slowly. I don't take my eyes off the hideous creature for a second. It steadily comes at me with writhing disgusting tendrils of oozing gunk. I bring the net to the fore and attack with both tools. I scream a battle cry that causes the dog to howl outside.
Swinging the net to distract the nasty, I grab at it with the tongs. The gods of order grant me success and the monster is caught in the clutches of my weapon. Twisting and screeching it tries to get away but I am too strong for it. I take it outside and put it in the bucket of bleach water that I always have waiting for such an emergency. As it screams one last time the sun shines on my goggles and I stand victorious.
Entering the kitchen I go to the fridge and scan the contents for more mess. I have come and conquered for all the 'experiments' are gone. I finish up by wiping the box with cleanser. I quickly scrub down the kitchen making sure all crevices are clean of any possible malicious fungi.
My kitchen is once again in order and my mind is at peace. I know that I will fight the chaos of my house once again but for now I may rest.