Friday, August 25, 2006

Dog Food Derring-Do

Decided to clean behind major appliances today, starting with the fridge – preparing the premises for the inspection of the priest, you know – and found there a virtual carpet of doggie kibbles. Kibbles! Just like the ones in the recliner cushions and kitchen cabinets, but melted and polka-dotted green.

Maybe rat poison pellets?

Moistening, expanding, bonding, dehydrating, separating, and moistening again over the course of time, the brown and green substances must have been every type of matter. Water, liquid, gas. Without my interruption, they probably would have witnessed the melting of the arctic glaciers, or at least another defrosting of the freezer.

I poked the congealed mass with a fork to see what would happen, and when it didn’t move I went at it with the hose of the magic vacuum. (The magic vacuum eats anything from beer caps to twigs the size of walking sticks, and I haven't emptied the bag in two years. Hence, the magic.) It sucked the chunks but left the slime, so I soaked some steel wool in ammonia and starting scrubbing, hoping the goo would find a good home in the pores of a metal-fiber sponge.

After about fifteen, fume-filled, minutes, I called it quits and got ready to move back the fridge, but as soon as I pushed - ding! ping! chime! ding! ping! It sounded like marbles. Even though I hadn’t inserted a quarter or turned a metal lever or asked for a prize, a few kibbles rolled out the front.

What? Who were these people? I want to know. And why did they store dogfood under the fridge? When it spilled on the floor did they just kick it there with their boots and figure the rats would get into it and maybe haul small packs of it up the maze of tubes in the back, storing up for the long winter? Were the rats their pets? Did they want their fridge to double as a vending machine for extra dog food like those automatic dispensers people use on vacations, and then they could just give it a hearty shake or two and the pebbles would come rolling out?

I was steaming like the bucket of ammonia at my side, and I felt dirty. I hadn’t even found the kibbles under the washer and dryer yet, which would be more of the same. When I finished, I got in the shower and washed myself with the only unpacked soap: liquid, lemon-flavored dishsoap. Slimy, but a good slimy.

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