Drawer of Death - 11/20/04
Today I cleaned out the Drawer of Death.

I don't think I need to recount the many sordid tales of the Fridge of Death to convey the peril of what would happen if one drawer's worth of contents from the old fridge were allowed to survive the transfer and regroup in the bottom drawer of our new fridge and molder away for several more months. I guess the closest analogy would be from Alien when that one alien clings onto the escape pod and survives to give birth to a whole new colony of ghastly monsters in the sequel.

Well, this happened. Somehow, several items of food were "salvaged" from the Fridge of Death and put in the new fridge, grouped together in the bottom drawer in a motley crew of squalor. I use the term "salvage" lightly here, as these foods had probably already gone bad when they were moved; they were "salvaged" in the way a dead body is "salvaged" into a coffin. Then the new roommates moved in and, despite how well we cleaned the rest of the fridge, we somehow missed this one drawer and its diabolical contents, allowing it to continue to fester and decay for another couple of months before somebody noticed.

That somebody was me. How quickly a search for more syrup turns into a gag-inducing train-wreck. Down to my last searching possibility, I opened the Drawer of Death, and ghouls flew out. No, I'm joking - the ghouls stayed where they were, vacuum sealed into a nine-month old package of rancid lettuce. But they sure did shriek and smell bad. I'd shriek too if I had to be too close to that lettuce.

Here is perhaps the grossest picture I've ever taken. It's off the two containers of "Just Salmon" I disinterred from the grave-like drawer. It's a fascinating exploration into how things can go bad in two different chromatic directions, though both with equal stomach-churning results. Please look away now if you vomit easily.

The one on the left was pretty rotten, but at least it was within the right quadrant of the color wheel. The other one… well, the other was simply an abomination to all things good and holy on God's Earth. Salmon does not turn dark green, I don't care how long it's been sitting there. It was so moldy I swear to God the fungus had developed fire and the wheel. It was so gross I swear to Lucifer if the devil himself had taken a crap, the crap had come to life, threw up on itself and then died again, this salmon would have been way grosser.

Somehow though, the salmon was neither the oldest thing in the fridge, nor the most disgusting. I submit that the decomposed celery was actually grosser. Partly because it took me a full minute to realize that it was actually celery. But mostly because, when I picked it up, the already decaying bag ripped open and dripped putrid black juice on my arm. As if the smell wasn't bad enough already, this set the smoke detector off. The juice also took all the hair off my arm and all the varnish off the counter.

Alright, so I exaggerate a little; my arm never had any hair on it. And the counter's tile. I can get a little carried away in my hyperbolic vituperations about how gross the Drawer was, but I kid you not, that shit was seriously fucking nasty. And to prove I'm not making this up, the following is a factual inventory of what I found in the fridge, and when each item had expired. Keep in mind, this is November.

- Two containers of "Just Salmon", which probably should have been renamed "Just Rot" and "Just Fucking Gross." Expired July 29th and July 25th, respectively.

- One package lunch meat. Expired Aug 26th.

- One bag of semi-rotton salad. Expired August 4th.

- One package of Hebrew National Kosher Beef Franks. First of all, I'm not sure how "Beef Franks" are Kosher, but Yahweh knows I've never been solid on my Judaism. Second of all, the Hebrew National's slogan on the package is "We Answer To A Higher Authority." What's higher than the FDA? Expiration date: sell by August 18th. Condition: kind of redish, though not actually that gross (although red is kind of a strange color for hot dogs gone bad).

- One package of celery, rotten beyond recognition. Expiration date: God knows.

And finally,

- One bottle of IBC Root Beer. Not Expired.



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