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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Leftovers, or Sweet Fuzzy Mystery of Life, At Last I've Found You


It’s not a big fridge. You wouldn’t, for example, walk into my kitchen and say, “Well, for cryin’ out loud, check out the fridge that Pearl’s got!”

You could, but it would be inaccurate.

It’s a standard fridge, a friendly fridge. There is some unbaked cookie dough lurking in the freezer, whispering vague and imprecise promises of fat-free indulgence. There is a tremendous pot of spaghetti sauce and home-made meatballs made yesterday, sure to be perfectly aged by the time I get home. And there, on the upper shelf, the shelf that requires that I stand on my toes, behind the sour cream and the pickles and that port wine cheese spread, is a bowl.

A most unsavory bowl.

My mother would, perhaps, take this opportunity to give me that beating she claims she should’ve given me in my formative years, one possibly involving a shot of water from the hose at the kitchen sink and a Minnesota State Fair yardstick. She wouldn’t be far off the mark here, frankly, because even I, a bucket-o-bleach-water-and scrub-brush hardened cleaner of other people’s homes was taken aback.

Because at the back of the fridge?

A little bowl of fuzz.

Blue and white fuzz, to be precise, just enough to cover the bottom of a carefully covered, smallish bowl.

What was it? We will never know.

Please bow your heads.

We’ve come here today in search of sustenance, of fare both sweet and salty, and to mourn the loss of whatever you figure might’ve been in that bowl.

It wasn’t much of a bowl, a small, humble bowl, really; but it did it was made to do. It held something. It held it securely, it held it with integrity, and, apparently, it held it for a good long time.

But what it held, that’s the mystery, because like many of us, it’s not the clothes we wear, it’s what’s inside those clothes that is interesting. You and I are careful to hide the blue and white fuzz of our lives, cautious in showing our rot to the world, but the little bowl did not have that option. Tucked behind the refrigerator pickles, behind the half-and-half and the pickled herring, the bowl waited, slowly going fuzzy with neglect.

The tautly stretched plastic wrap was never disturbed.

The bowl waited in vain.

Today, using that plastic wrap to scoop out the moldy, almost experimental contents of that bowl, now dropping said bowl into the hot, sudsy water of the kitchen sink, I am reminded of my brother, the man who once bit off one of my fingernails in an attempt to get a larger bite of my sandwich.

“Hey. You gonna eat that?”


Good-bye, fuzzy kitchen leftover. Whatever you were, I should’ve eaten you.

35 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

It's a sin to let good food go to waste but hey....your brother hasn't been over for a while has he?

R. Jacob said...

Hmm
I think for the most part guys don't have fuzzy stuff in the fridge as we are the hunter and the cries of uneaten leftovers call out to us, we come a calling!

joeh said...

It must have been a borderline leftover. Good stuff never turns to fuzz.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! I discovered a small huddled group of what wer epossibly once strawberries in the recesses of my fridge. They moaned and shuffled, just like THE WALKING DEAD, but with fruit. Indigo x

esbboston said...

That was interesting equating rotted food to siblings. I wiLL have to try that thought pattern sometime. My wife was notorious for forgetting hamburger, raw. I called this event Hamburger Of The Month Club. She has doing better recently, about not ruining food. I am proud of her.

My birthday is sometime fairly close to now-this-week-I'm-being-Internettedly-sneaky, so you can wish me Happy B'Day if you'd like! Yes, I am aging, ever so gracefooly.

Z said...

I've a feeling that port wine cheese spread is destined never to be eaten either. Unless it's a whole lot more delicious than it sounds, that is.

terlee said...

Too bad we can't scoop out our own fuzzy, moldy neglected bits and toss them in the bin. Then a good soak and scrub in hot sudsy water, and we'd be all clean and new, ready for anything.

Ms Sparrow said...

C'mon, it's OK! We all find that sneaky something that avoids detection in the recesses of the fridge. I refer you to Susan Vass calling the produce drawer of the fridge "The Rotter".

Jocelyn said...

There's also the point of moldiness where even the container has to go--something satisfies about plopping the entire thing into the garbage and backing away slowly.

Hilary said...

I'm with Jocelyn. If I have to use the plastic wrap to scrape the contents of the bowl, there's a possibility that the bowl is going to be discarded too.

But did you say pickled herring? Now I've got a craving..

savannah said...

someone here on the plantation has decided that we must eat everything we purchase, so leftovers are consumed the next day! he has a chart now! *sigh* (i swear it has to be age related, sugar!!) xoxoxoxox

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

In the interests of scientific curiosity, weren't you tempted to taste the underlying goop to see what it was (or had been)?

Mitchell is Moving said...

So sweet how it reminded you of your brother. I have once or twice been so repulsed by what I found growing in my fridge that I have thrown bowl and all into the trash.

Eva Gallant said...

I confess to more than once having grown a bowl of fuzziness in the back of my refrigerator!

jenny_o said...

You've succeeded in making me feel sorry for that leftover, how's that for the power of the pen!

I hope your move is going well. It's hard on the joints, hard on the head and hard on the wallet, isn't it?

Sioux said...

Just call it a "science experiment." And apparently, the experiment is over...

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

When we find such treasures in the back of our fridge we refer to them as "science experiments." I even put on surgical gloves to remove and dispose of said items. Forget the plastic wrap. This is biohazard work!
:)

Joyful Things said...

I am okay with the bowl full of fuzzy stuff - I am not okay with a cucumber that has gone past the okay to touch stage. You know the one, it looks like you could still lift it out of the crisper but half way to the sink it explodes and is on your pants, shirt, floor, cupboard doors, a small bit clinging above your right eye ........

L-Kat said...

I also forget fruit in my fridge at work. It grows some pretty thick mold. I'm not brave enough to scoop the fuzz out, so I just throw the whole thing away. I support Zip Lock tupperware.

vanilla said...

Better it should go to waste than to go to waist anyway.

My desire for a snack just went away, though.

Jono said...

When I was a young bachelor fuzzy stuff was mostly what was in the fridge, except the beer which never got fuzzy.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ew. RIP fuzzy mystery leftover.

ThreeOldKeys said...

... laughing again ... oh how did you know i disposed of THREE fuzzy bowlsworths today ... they only had white moss appearing at the edges, but you can't always wait for full bloom.

how about liquid green peppers? got any of those down at the bottom? slime of celery? lettuce juice?

Almost Precious said...

My hat's off to that stalwart little bowl. So valiant, so brave, so uncomplaining. Of course you do realize it's probably planning its' revenge . . . I'd double check that pot of spaghetti sauce if I were you.

Carol said...

Since my daughter left home there is more fuzzy stuff in the fridge, I don't eat it and I forget to open the fridge and see whats there. I should pay closer attention

Shelly said...

I've been mired in the bowels of jury duty, but I feel you here. In our house, it seems anything that ever developed into something fuzzy is visible only to me, with all others in my family content to swim the river of Denial that it even exists.

Leenie said...

Making such a fascinating report from the demise of a bowl of blue fuzz takes such talent and creativity. I stand in awe.

HermanTurnip said...

Can I get an Amen?

Now that you mention it, I believe I have a few tomatoes in the fridge that are sporting fur coats. Must clear those out tonight...

NellieVaughn said...

That wouldn't happen at my place. I am a compulsive eater. That's why I go to the grocery store every other day. I can only buy enough to make 6-8 meals. I have to be very careful not to turn into one of those people that firefighters have to rescue by breaking a wall, and crane lifting them out.

Tempo said...

Whatever it was my puppy would still have eaten it...

River said...

Fess up Pearl, you were trying to make your own penicillin, weren't you?

Meeling said...

Lol! Sounds related to some green goo I found a while back in mine. ;-)

ps...thanks for popping by!

Susan in the Boonies said...

There aren't enough eulogies to cover the contents of my fridge. We'd need a memorial like the one they hold for the victims of 9/11. I can hear the bell tolling now: Bring Out Yer Dead. ~gong~

Laoch of Chicago said...

I'm pretty hungry tonight, can you send me over a doggy bag?

Diane said...

And what did I get from this cute little tribute to 'fridge science experiments 101'? YOU HAVE PICKLED HERRING IN YOUR FRIDGE? Soul-sisters!