Saturday, November 29, 2008

Joe Refrigerato

Life in Kickapoo Center at the Turn of the Century

My first wife wasn't the brightest light bulb. But... she was well meaning. Together and with the help of a thing called joint custody, unheard of in 1984, we raised three decent kids. In 1984 they were 14,5 and 2 1/2 years old. I'll admit I could be a snot sometimes. When I didn't want to explain something, I'd make up an answer. If the answer involved the name of a person-I gave her Joe Refrigerato an Italian person of some note. "He invented the refrigerator," I'd explain. "You know, like Thomas Crapper who invented the toilet." She'd buy the explanation and I could move on to other areas of discourse.

For the first time in the history of this blog, I'm introducing you the man known as Joe Refrigerato. I took this photo early this morning as he was resting.

Yes, I know. You are disappointed by my ruse. Perhaps even pissed that I wasted your time. So go back to the cartoons you were watching on Saturday morning TV. For those intrepid explorers who'd like to accompany me on a descent into unexplored regions of Kickapoo Center, jump into the LandCrusier and buckle up.

Everyone has a refrigerator like mine. Photos of grandkids, number one son(my wife's first born)friends and family. My daughter once complained there were no pictures of her. It's true. I don't know why. There's even a picture of Pucci stretched thin on the back of the couch. The pig and cloth snakes are requisites. The Pooch, if bored snatches one of the magnets and plays ice hockey on the floor. When my youngest daughter-the one I have pinned my hopes on to make a name for the family-was teaching in Japan, I scotch-taped a newspaper clipping from 1944. It showed the various time zones with the caption, Today's battles are fought tomorrow I taped it to the frig with the hopes that I'd know the time difference between Kickapoo Center and Hanowa Township. It didn't help.

Keep your hands and legs inside the car, please. We will descend into the far reaches of the interior. In my days as an inner city teacher, I had an occasional home visit. Refrigerators served as a handy reference point to the nature of deprivation of my students. I do not know what my refrigerator says.

Not the best of pictures. Hidden behind the fresh butter is miso from the turn of the century. I believe the theme here is vegetarian We like to trick ourselves into maintaining a heart healthy diet. That's why the upright freezer in the garage is crammed with meat. There's a hierarchy involved here. As you descend from the top shelves to the bottom most shelf, the age of the bottles increases.Next to the tomato juice and unopened bottle of maple syrup is a bottle of Goya Chipolte marinade. I believe it was purchased in Madison at Yu Wah grocery store off Park Street. I lived in Madison during the summer of 2004. The only numbers on it are 4181. If that is an expiration code, it predates two of my children.

Moving from the door to the shelves of the body of the refrigerator, we have an intimate look into the lifestyle of Bertram R. Bubnick. The ranking of product according to age is different.

The upper left hand shelf is reserved for opened jars of canned goods. Three different kinds of salsa, apple butter, pickles, olives and sun dried tomatoes in olive oil which has congealed to a yellowish grease await the intrepid. The container of egg substitute was moved there recently to make way for something on the main shelf where filtered water, milk, old green tea and a box of Merlot rest. There's a handy thermometer to check the temperature range of Joe. Not only is it hard to read, but it is so far back as to be inaccessible. Way back, yup, the plastic container of baking soda that's been there since the refrigerator was purchased. I don't believe that marketing ploy about washing it down the sink to keep drains sweet smelling. Have you ever smelled your drain? If you have, do you want to smell mine. There's dog image here bordering on offensive.

To tell the truth, I've been wasting time waiting for the town dump to open. If this has been entertaining, well.... If not, too bad. In a clear box in the far recesses of Joe is the last of a teeth whitening contraption. Because it involves keeping my mouth shut for an extended period , it has gone unused for years. Maybe tonight as I watch another episode of MI-5. In the meantime, hold onto your shorts. Tomorrow we're going to tour my drawers. The ones in the upstairs bedroom facing west. Oooo won't that be fun.


bulldog and crab said...

Actually baking soda and vinegar does a great job at cleaning and deoderizing drains. very eco-freindly and its a good way of getting rid of old baking soda from the fridge.

Just dump soda into the drain and then dump the vinegar onto it. it creates a awesome volcano effect, and flows into the drain flushing it out.

bulldog and crab said...

Also if that salsa was dated with a julian code it expired Wed, 6 May 4702 B.C. I think it's safe to throw away.