On the Refrigerator Door

April 20, 2004

As I was looking through the refrigerator this evening, I picked up a bottle of food off of the door. It's funny how all refrigerator doors are full of the same bottles and jars of stuff. You never even see the things until you happen to want a pickle, or you wonder if there are any of those spiced beans left that you bought to put in Bloody Marys.

I happened to be looking for dill pickle chips to put on a sandwich. (As an aside, "sandwich" is one of the hardest words to spell. Go ahead and ask your nearest coworker, and see if he or she doesn't get stuck, at least a little.) The big jar that I picked up happened to be sauerkraut.

Can someone interpret K07301B 07:36 for me? How long is this jar of kraut good?

It just so happens that I don't remember the last time I bought or even ate sauerkraut. I used to buy it a lot to put on a bun with a big sausage. But, it's been a couple of years since I regularly ate sausage. Could this bottle be that old?

This reminded me of the seemingly unrelated fact that Crystal and Brent are coming to visit in July. The link that brought this memory to the forefront is that every time Crystal visits, she checks the jars in the refrigerator and finds something that is expired. If you don't know Crystal, your reaction must certainly be, "What kind of psychopath is this chick?" But in fact, she is really very normal. From time to time, she can even have a stretch where you would describe her as charming.

Crystal doesn't just find the jar of expired jelly or mayonnaise or whatever. She bides her time and waits. Eventually, she finds an opening where she can slip jelly or mayonnaise or bottles into the conversation, and then land a statement like, "Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but since we're talking about mayonnaise, there's an expired jar of it in the refrigerator now." Actually, it doesn't come across that forced. She is very talented at this little diversion.

And lest you think that I'm exaggerating, I distinctly remember Crystal doing this twice, which means that in reality, she must have done this lots more. This isn't normally the sort of behavior that I would remember from one year to another, so it must have been repeated over and over.

If you don't mind, I need a couple of emails from my readers. I need one person to drop me a note at the end of June, reminding me to clean all of the expired crud out of my refrigerator. I also need someone who works for the sauerkraut plant to send me a message decoding that stamp on the bottle, and let me know how much longer this stuff is good.

Until then, the sauerkraut stays on the refrigerator door.