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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wherein I Mourn A Forgotten Leftover


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 warn’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 hiding 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.

26 comments:

Douglas said...

I am reminded of the visitor to my apartment way back when I was in the Navy. He noticed a quart can of orange juice in the fridge and started to chug it before I could stop him. He immediately spewed the contents of his mouth into the kitchen sink... the fuzzy green chunky contents, that is.

vanilla said...

Now, Pearl, most of us have had that or a very similar experience; but only Pearl could report it and make it a literary adventure!

Should Fish More said...

First time I've felt sorry for a bowl, wonder if theres a cps-like office I can report you to......

Delores said...

'the blue and white fuzz of our lives'....yes indeed, we do our utmost to keep that hidden. But rot will out eventually and someone will discover what we have so carefully hidden for so long behind the pickles. Best to have a good excuse ready.

jenny_o said...

Here you are (along with a lot of us), throwing away your blue and white fuzzy experiment, yet people go to a great deal of trouble to inoculate blue stuff into perfectly good cheese and sell it for perfectly good money ... the world is incomprehensible sometimes.

Indigo Roth said...

Good grief woman, did it not fight back?! :O

Daisy said...

I bet Dolly Gee knows something about this bowl being there....

Pearl said...

You think that bowl is bad, I also have a story about an unrepentant cheese I once fought with. :-)

Silliyak said...

"Oh the wanton waste!" the voices of our ancestors

jenny_o said...

"unrepentant cheese" post

All in favour, say "aye"!

"Aye"

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Ugh. To close for comfort that one.

Oh, and "AYE"... YAM xx

Elsie Amata said...

You did better than I would have done. The whole thing would have been tossed =P

Elsie
AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

How could you?

That little bowl may have held the secret of immortality; a universal antibiotic; a miraculous face pack.

A universe of opportunity lost.

On the gripping hand, you probably saved yourself a bad dose of food poisoning.

TIP: next time don't put the fuzzy stuff down the sink, but rather use the toilet bowl. Mould spores are extremely resistant to most common cleaning agent, and I think that you've just contaminated your sink.

Daisy said...

Sigh. Another science experiment gone awry. You're lucky you found it before it grew legs. :D

Elephant's Child said...

All cheese is unrepentent - but another aye from this corner for you reporting on the phenomena.

Leenie B said...

AYE to the "unrepentant cheese" post! At least you kept the bowl. Some would throw the bowl out with the blue fuzz.

bill lisleman said...

Pearl, you have a talent for taking a moldy forgotten bowl and making a life lesson from it. You didn't get to eat it but you did make the best out of its moldy remains.

Jono said...

You probably got rid of the cure for aging and all diseases. Just like that. My parents wanted me to go to college because, they said, "If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread they can make something out of you."

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

RIP, Pearl's penicillin! We hardly knew ye.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

RIP, Pearl's penicillin! We hardly knew ye.

goatman said...


It was mashed potatoes, and I threw it out.

Jayne Martin said...

This is a lot more familiar than I should really admit to. Sometimes I even smell the carton of milk, observe that it is sour... and put it back in the refrigerator. You and I would make interesting roommates.

HermanTurnip said...

Oh sure, you get the friendly fridge, while I get the vindictive one. Damned thing has a cold spot below the freezer portion that loves nothing more than to freeze my beers until they explode and destroy any meat product placed near that dreaded cold spot. I swear my refrigerator hates me...

Rose L said...

Maybe if you'd left it longer it may have sprouted legs and arms and strolled through the refrigerator. I may have evolved into such a cute little fuzzy critter. I guess we will never know now.

River said...

Blue and white mould often indicates some kind of cream cheese base, maybe the bowl held left over dip from one of Dolly Gee's gatherings.

Aye and aye again for the unrepentant cheese post!

jestuit said...

Ha I had to laugh at the "yardstick". My Mom had one hanging in the closet/pantry in the kitchen. Threatened with a few times, but never used. I was talking about this with a Dad a few weeks ago. The good old times. :-)