Nothing can be compared to the carefree life of a college student. Nothing. It is the most egocentric point in a person’s life. All that matters is studying and socializing. Sure, many students get involved in clubs and sports, but they are still chosen because they are something the college student wants to do, not because he has to do it.
For many students, college becomes even more exciting when a group gets together to rent a house. Nothing is so glamorous than a college house. Sure, the plumbing is substandard, the heating is forty years old, and the windows don’t exactly lock, but it is complete independence. Without true adult supervision, it allows the college student to feel self-sufficient. The best part is that no one cares about the mounds of dishes in the sink; no one cares that the floors haven’t been washed in two months; no one cares if your room is covered with clothes. Yep, living in a college house allows for freewheeling liberation without any real rules.
However, as anyone who has ever lived in a college house can attest, the school year always draws to a close, and suddenly, the house needs to be cleaned. Slowly, the house begins to resemble a house again: floors are swept and mopped, carpets are vacuumed, the shower is scrubbed. The last job is always to clean out the refrigerator. Oh, you don’t know about the college refrigerator? Anyone who has ever cleaned out a college refrigerator will testify most are probably public health concerns. Seemingly, someone should call Hazmat; who knows what vile nine-month old food item will suddenly appear?
Yesterday, I happened to move a two-pound bag of cheese in my own refrigerator, and I was startled by a plastic container. It had what appeared to be sauce in it. That’s strange, I thought to myself. Why would Tom have thrown away a jar and put sauce into a plastic container?
Then it hit me! I recently made chicken parmesan and this package contained the leftovers. How long ago did I make chicken parm? Well… it was the night Carson went to cheerleading and Lizzie had dance. So, it had to have been last Thursday. No wait, we had tacos last Thursday. Oh my gosh, this container is two weeks old!
When I cracked the lid, the odor was instantaneous. My olfactory system challenged my digestive system not to release the contents of my stomach. I shut the lid horrified. If this leftover had been in the refrigerator for two weeks, what other foulness was looming? I dragged the garbage can over, I grabbed the Lysol wipes, and I decided it was time to examine the contents of the refrigerator for other atrocities.
Near where I found the chicken parmesan on the same shelf toward the back of the refrigerator was a small vegetable bag and something was in it. I pulled it forward and found what looked like green beans that had contracted leprosy. Again, I tried to think back. I think the last time I bought green beans was when we went to the West Side Market. Yikes, that was well over a month ago!
I rummaged around and found a container of mashed potatoes. Oh that’s right, we ate mashies the same night we had chicken parmesan.
The last horrible find was in the crisper. Usually, we are very good about eating all of our vegetables and making sure the crisper stays clean. Somehow, this bag got buried under the carrot bag. I am embarrassed to say that I found the most rancid husk of corn. It was so horrible that when I called Lizzie into the kitchen to jokingly ask her if she wantedto eat it, she screamed. (I am embarrassed to say, but the last time I bought corn on the cob was Labor Day weekend– this corn has been in my refrigerator since September 1st!)
I cleaned out the refrigerator. I wiped every shelf, every jar, every container.
I guess I have been to busy studying (work) and socializing (to be honest, I have!).
Note to self: clean out fridge the night before garbage day every week!