Amelia Earhart was a childhood hero of mine. Of course by childhood, I refer to a period of time that stretched well into my early twenties...but I'm growing up now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Night of the Living Bread

(or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Stinkbomb.)

There are some things that I have accepted I will never know. Now these things are not, as you might expect, relating to chickens & eggs or the meaning of life. I believe in an Almighty creator who gives meaning and purpose to life if we will allow Him to, so I am not bothered by these kinds of questions. No, my mysteries of life tend to fall more along these lines: 1) How do all the cords behind a television set get all tangled and knotted together just by sitting there? 2) Why do balding men think anyone is fooled by a combover…on a windy day? 3) How many licks does it take to get the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? -and most importantly- 4) Who is leaving gross food in the office refrigerator?

If you have ever been a part of a communal fridge system, involving 3 or more coworkers/roommates, you most likely can identify with question #4. Food in a refrigerator (particularly any items in a foam clamshell take-out box) seems to have shelf-life for claim-ability of about one week. Past this time, those responsible for putting the food there develop a very specialized amnesia that prevents them from remembering that they are in fact responsible for its existence – and that this responsibility presumably includes disposing of spoiled items. The likelihood that the item in question will be claimed by the offending party is often inversely proportional the amount of odor that item is producing. If your office is across the hall and three cubicles down from the fridge, yet you can tell by sense of smell when the door has been opened, there is a better chance of a tiny alien race landing on the roof of your building and taking up residence on the rotting food than there is of anyone actually saying “Oh sorry, that’s mine. I’ll throw it away.”

As I learned from many Family Circus comics (if I had a single fiber of cool in my body, I would not admit reading this comic strip past age 8, but I can’t lie. That Jeffy is just so gosh darn cute.) there is a notorious character named Ida Know who is often blamed for doing all sorts of naughty things. Considering how many people have evoked her name in reference to the refrigerator mystery, I really think we ought to track her down and take punitive measures. I haven’t found her in the payroll system, so I think she may be a temp. That could explain how she seems to show up at most of my friends offices as well.

Until I find her, I want to leave you with these simple words of wisdom: Don’t waste time posting signs that say “Tomorrow I am throwing away all unidentified items in the refrigerator. Let me know which things are yours or that fuzzy Gladware is headed for the trash.” Skip it, and call in a hazmat team.


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