Those pork sandwiches ended up costing me about $60 each, in the end.
Since I've moved in to the new apartment I have had slight issues with frost in the cooling section of refrigerator section. The freezer portion was getting too cold. I kept turning the temperature down, until I finally decided to turn it down as low as it would go.
They have changed how these knobs work. In the 70's, when the world was far more down with itself, these knobs only went from Cold to Coldest. They did not go from Off to Coldest.
That would be stupid and invite disaster.
That is the subject of today's post: disaster.
Sometime in the middle of the night on late Tuesday... I turned my refrigerator off and then drove in to the city that next morning. When I came home I opened the door to the fridge, armed with a happy fork, took 3 or 4 forkfuls of pork, and then ate them.
Something didn't seem right. There was water where it needn't be, shouldn't be. I opened the freezer and immediately noticed that something terrible had happened. It was well above the freezing point of water.
I checked again. I turned the knob slightly clockwise and the beast, the rectangular cuboid, sprang to its monstrous food preserving self.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT, FUCK...!!!!
Never trust a hexahedron!
How many times have I warned others of this exact same thing.
I thought that it would be best to eat the perishables, right away. Ice cream!
I dove into a chocolate soup. I began to wonder if that was bad for me.
Then, it hit me: Pork. Oh, fuck.
Blessed by the gods. Pork, dear pork... why have you betrayed me. Of all the meats; many were called, but you were chosen.
I started to assess the damage, though I didn't have much time or stomach for it. I had to go pick up Rhys. Then, I became distracted with a few other things, before I knew it.... I realized that I would have to throw a lot of food out. All of it!, or so I thought at first. Then I calmed down and realized that the fancy mustards I purchased might survive, maybe even the bagels and bread, and a few other things. Suddenly, I was on top again. I was as a Fox News correspondent, a smiling denier of warming.
Why did I have potato chips in the refrigerator? That's not needed. They could be spared this market massacre. Science wins.
I didn't have time to create a new shopping list. Like a fool, I thought that I would just naturally know what needed to be replaced. My domesticity precedes itself.
I went and picked up Rhys.
Already things were getting fuzzy for me. It had only been 30 minutes since I discovered the carnage. The timeline had yet to crystallize.
Eggs? They seemed pretty self-contained, impervious to heat. Just look at what we do to those near-anal treasures. Certainly they would be safe, right? Eggs have survived all of history. They're Egyptian, I think. I'm sure of it.
Certain rumors have it that every egg contains a pyramid that acts as a floating compass to miniature aliens. Eggs vibrate unpleasantly if you bring them near Fukushima, etc.
No: Butter safe then sorry.
I was already remorseful, sick with expense. There was no point in attacking a warm household appliance with loud, damning truisms. They would do no good. Cliches are exclusively for poor people, or the rich when at Burning Man.
I pictured the look on Rachel's face when she met me at the hospital.... if I had fed our child a bad egg, or a nice room-temperature pork sandwich, with slushy-slaw.
Does Rhys even eat pulled pork? There is so much I still have to learn, and then teach back to him. I wonder at what age he will first try Sriracha sauce. Will it be with me, and should I keep that secret from mommy? Probably.
We'll ever know, this site prevents me from holding many secrets.
I decided that we should survey the full extent of damage before contacting FEMA. I didn't wish to appear as a Bush-baby here.
We went back to the house. I was starting to feel as if I was having an anxiety attack.
So much effort has gone in on my part to make something work, to feel natural - for Rhys to accept that this will be his new second home, also. It takes very little for all of that to feel as if it has somehow become completely unravelled.
Groceries did it. The current threshold for my parental madness is ~$300
We came back. I poured out all of the milk, the half-and-half, even tossed the eggs without thrusting them angrily into the garbage can - as if against the side of a house of a long-time teenage foe.
There was other stuff.
Lot, and Lot's wife.
Rhys watched it all. I did it quickly, assuring him the entire time that this is what good parents do, and that we would soon go to the grocery store and "fix everything..."
The fridge had been back on for about half an hour, or so. Everything seemed to represent wet decay, supermarket waste. It all reminded me of every day in the life I lived in Florida.
I had bought all of the things that I knew the boy would love: waffles for breakfast, string cheese snacks, chicken fingers, yogurt, chocolate pudding for desert.
All of it, ruined.
I turned up the oddly inverted "cold dial," closed the door, went to the bedroom to get ready to run over with Rhys to a friend's house, planning on going to the grocery store late that night.
I did not yell. I barely raised my voice. I only closed the fridge door and told him that we can't open that any more until it was cold in there again.
I raised my voice. I didn't yell.
I emphasized. It is called, "motivational speaking."
He went to play in the other room. We had brought many toys. He is a healthy kid that runs around.
I then flattened all of the useless boxes and prepared myself to just "dad-up" and buy all new groceries. I felt something akin to an anxiety attack coming on; a tightness around my upper chest and neck, as if the muscles that connect my arms and shoulders had suddenly shortened, become less pliable, and wished me self-harm.
As I readied myself to bring the boxes out, and then also the boy out to the car, I noticed that he was in his new bedroom on his knees, playing with the nightlight. Knowing his fascination with all things electric, I questioned the safety plugs that I had just put in all of the outlets, to prevent little fingers.
I came closer to make sure he wasn't pulling them out of the wall. I set down all that was in my arms. I moved closer and noticed something much more, the little boy was weeping.
Is there just no possible way to not fuck up, nor fuck up the life of another.
Triple Negative: a base hit that puts you on third, where there's lots of cheering or something like it - the noise is deafening - but you must also be on your toes, because there are two outs in the unlucky bottom of the ninth, and you had better know when not to sprint.