In honor of Halloween, I’m going to tell you a little horror story about the scariest place I know. Set yourselves up around the campfire, kiddies, and prepare to sit on the edge of your tushies while old Auntie Beej spins a scary yarn about the most frightening place you will never visit…
The top of my refrigerator.
I know, it may not seem that scary at first, but hear me out. When you think of scary places, what do you think of?
Cobwebs? Got ‘em.
Darkness? Dankness? Done. And. Done.
Death and destruction? Oh HELL YEAH.
The top of my refrigerator is littered with the corpses of cookbooks and other assorted sort-of-kitchen-related items that were sent there to die a slow, painful, neglected death. It’s a Useless Stuff Graveyard – and sadly, not the only one in my house. This is because, much to the Big Bean’s exasperation: (a) I am a total pack rat and (2) I am a “stacker” and (iii) I am ridiculously lazy.
Every now and then I go nuts and clean out the graveyards and usually get bored about halfway through so I just throw everything out, but then like three days later I find myself searching for some random thing and after tearing the house apart I realize that it’s gone forever because I tossed it in my graveyard cleaning frenzy, and then I get unreasonably angry at the Big Bean and yell at him, “See? DO YOU SEE?!? THIS is why I never throw anything out!!” and he just sits there looking confused, which infuriates me even more, and I finally just throw my hands up and walk away mumbling words like “jackass” and “douche bag” under my breath.
(Note: I also take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to housekeeping – hence, the cobwebs. And dust. And other unspeakable ickiness.)
Truthfully, I guess it’s a little unfair to call all of the stuff up there “useless.” I’m sure most of those things could be very useful to SOMEONE — just not me. As far as I know, the cookbooks feature all kinds of delicious recipes, but the truth is I have no way of knowing that because I don’t cook. Most of them were bought either by or for the Big Bean, but he doesn’t cook, either. Of course, the difference here is that he CHOOSES NOT to cook and I am simply UNABLE to cook, but either way those cookbooks are dead to us.
There’s also a beer stein up there, left over from the days when the Big Bean managed a brewery. It’s a nice beer stein, very pretty, and I’m sure it would have been extremely useful back in the brewery, but unless you have an actual beer TAP in your house, it’s pretty much useless. Beer in our house is supplied by bottles or cans. NOT steins.
(And NO, Big Bean, we cannot have a beer tap installed in the house.)
Is that dude picking his teeth after consuming a delicious meal consisting of an entire Mexican family?
This book has survived countless garage sales, because every time I look at it I giggle. This urge can be directly attributed to the same instinct that makes me laugh every time I drive past the Salvation Army’s new FAMILY STORE a few miles away. (Who knew that the Salvation Army had entire families for sale? Ba-dum-BUMP!)
(Also, I am in the fifth grade.)
Of course, all of this dead stuff rests on a dead breakfast tray, one of a pair that I bought with visions of being served that elusive Breakfast in Bed — a pipe dream, apparently, that will never happen in my lifetime. When I bought the set, this scene flashed through my mind — The Big Bean wakes me softly, whispering “Good morning, Goddess,” carrying this lovely tray in his hands, which is covered with a beautiful breakfast spread of pancakes (with plenty of butter) and bacon and coffee and a mimosa and a little vase with a rose in it, you know, like they ALWAYS have in the movies. I rise, rub the sleep from my eyes, he places the tray gently on my lap, then gets the fuck out of my room and lets me enjoy my breakfast in peace.
Out here, in real life, there is no such thing as “peace” and I’m lucky to get a dry toaster waffle on a paper plate.
(I don’t even know where the other breakfast tray is. I think one of the cats might have puked on it.)
(We’re not really what you would call a “romantic” couple.)
Really, the only item on the top of the refrigerator that gets any regular play is the fly swatter, because our house has recently been besieged by a swarm of flies so vicious and persistent you’d think they were a tiny army of ninja kamikaze dive bombers. They won’t get out of the goddamned kitchen, and as much as I hate killing any living creature I’ve got to admit that lately I’ve been getting a little charge out of blowing those babies away with my deadly fly weapon-on-a-stick. I’ve pretty much perfected my shot at this point – I can do to a fly what Sarah Palin does to those poor mooses without breaking a sweat. It’s a gift, really.
(Note: I’ve been blaming the recent fly invasion on the warm weather, but now that I think about it, it *might* have something to do with the gross top of my refrigerator that I never clean. Huh.)
Anyway, I dare you to tell me that the top of my refrigerator is NOT the scariest place on earth. It’s got all the elements of a good horror story – cobwebs, corpses, cannibalism – you name it.
It’s got MYSTERY. (What the hell IS that weird silver thing looming on top of the cabinet?)
It’s got MELANCHOLY. (Just take a look at that sad stencil I tried to make pretty. My stencil is MUCH sadder than that lame story about the girl who was jilted at her wedding and killed herself and now wanders abandoned dirt roads in a tattered wedding gown. Puh-leeze.)
It’s even got SUSPENSE. (”WILL Bejewell EVER clean the top of the refrigerator? Or will the Attack of the Ninja Flies continue? If she DOES find the courage to go up there, what other mysterious, icky dangers might be lurking? Dust vampires? Gooey zombies? Tiny Sasquatch? Cover your eyes with your hands if you must, but don’t turn that dial…”)