Crash. And burn. And have a glass of wine!

February 9, 2017

Have you ever had one of those Mondays that fell somewhere else in the week?

Well, I’ve had about two weeks of ’em. I have been busier than the proverbial long-tailed cat in the proverbial room full of rocking chairs. Every time I have knocked one thing off my to-do list, three more have taken its place. I’ve slept in my own bed a minority of the past week’s worth of nights. I barely recognize my kitchen.

And tonight, my kitchen has struck back at me. With a vengeance. Viciously. And if I were keeping score, I would have to admit with no argument that it, by George, won. Hands down.

A workday at a client’s office, which generally runs maybe six hours (to accommodate the hour and 15 minute commute on either end) had run a full eight, and a busy eight, at that. On the drive home, I resorted to the voice note thingy on my phone to make myself a list of things I needed to do that had sprung from the day, along with the other things that have been carried forward from to-do lists from the previous week and a half. I got home, consulted with Child A, and made an executive decision there would be no cooking, and the beef I had thawed would hold for one more day.

I came in, did 14 quick things I needed to do, knocked two items off the to-do list, said to hell with it, and about 6:30, poured a glass of wine. And about 7:12, poured another one. About 7:40, as Child A and I were discussing our respective days, there was a crash.

You know that sound your icemaker makes when it dumps ice when the ice bin is almost empty? It sounded like that. Only it was about a dozen times louder. It came from the general direction of the kitchen, which is toward the street from the den, where we were sitting.

I set my glass of wine down. We stared at each other. “What was THAT?” we asked at about the same time. “Damned if I know,” we replied at about the same time.

It was starting to sound like one of those conversations self and I often have. Well, the kid IS a lot like me.

“It sounded like the icemaker…but a lot louder,” I said.

“Yeah. It did. YOU go check it. I’m scared to,” she replied.

So I went to  look at the icemaker, whose bin was about half full. Stuck my finger into the little ice-freezing compartment, felt there were frozen cubes that haven’t yet been kicked out. “Ain’t the icemaker.”

We ventured outside. Checked the back yard. Nothing, and the dogs, who we had just let out, were not raising hell, so we knew there was nothing back there. Looked at both cars. Nothing out of the ordinary (no large quantity of dirt had fallen off mine, more’s the pity). Looked up and down the street. No blue lights, no sirens, no apparent commotion. Looked at each other. Shrugged. OK.

I returned to my wine. She headed for the fridge (it’s a side-by-side, if that matters to your visualization of this adventure). Next thing I heard was, “Mama. I found it. Come here quick. I can’t let go!”

She had the refrigerator door open perhaps two inches. Only two inches, because everything that was on the top shelf had cascaded downward (remember your basic science lessons, Newton’s law, and the fact that shit flows downhill) onto the shelf below, and up against the now-partially-opened door.

I went to the rescue, and took over door duties. Eased the door open another half-inch. Felt the seismic shift in contents.

“Sumbitch,” I said to myself. And Self replied, “Yeah, you’re screwed. Go head and open it up.”

So I did. Among the things that cascaded to the floor were:

  • a portion of a bottle of champagne, now decidedly flat, that should’ve been chunked ages ago
  • a piece of a bottle of stout, ditto
  • a plastic container of champorado, or Filipino chocolate rice pudding I had made for breakfast a while back
  • a plastic container of an attempt at pickled mango
  • two quarts of reduced chicken stock (thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus, that the container stayed whole and the lid didn’t come off, because that would have been one more helluva mess!)
  • two quarts of half and half, one opened and a small bit of it used (this morning, in fact)
  • two pints of heavy cream, one partially used
  • a quart container, 1/3 full, of garlic confit
  • a half-gallon of generic V-8 juice, about 2/3 full
  • a half-gallon of V-8 Splash, about 2/3 full
  • the remains of a half-gallon of buttermilk that expired, per date on the carton, three weeks ago
  • the remains of a half-gallon of whole milk that expired, per date on the carton, today
  • a plastic container of mandarin orange slices in juice
  • a plastic container of pineapple chunks
  • assorted other stuff I don’t remember.

I kept the milk, the chicken stock, the half and half and cream. The rest of it bit the dust, along with some stuff on the next shelf down and a shelf or two below that.

The replacement stopper had come out of the champagne bottle and there was flat champagne all over the floor. The beer, thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, had not spilled, nor had anything else, so all I had to clean up out of the floor was broken glass and champagne. Which, I am here to testify, was a gracious plenty. I swept, swept again, and then Swiffer-mopped. The floor is sticky. I will steam mop it in the morning, but, you know what? That ain’t happening tonight.

I have taken out the trash, filled the recycling bin and I think the garbage disposal has OD’d. The dishwasher has just quit running and gone into the dry cycle. I have gotten my blood pressure back down in the normal range, thanks to a glass and a half of wine.

If you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have a shelf that fits a Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator-freezer, I’d be tickled to death to take it off your hands. Meanwhile, I’m going to do a Miss Scarlett and worry about it tomorrow.



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