If you’re stuck working with people in the same office building and the company who you work for does not provide you with a cafeteria, where a person can escape the daily grind and have a freshly prepared lunch, then this post is for you. To the rest of you spoiled brats, go ahead and mock us, the disadvantaged individuals.
We are condemned to a reality of having to pack our lunch. To pre-prepare whatever we want to feed our face with, and bring it along to our place of torture. To satisfy the need to eat with hurried scraps because of the time restriction in the morning, due to you having to dress, shave and dump the used food you ate yesterday. Not to mention the stuff you have to do to the kids to get them to school on time. Wife has given up on packing my lunch because I am, in her words, “full of shit.”
This post is teetering in the wrong direction.
The biggest issue with a heap of people bringing their own lunch, necessitates the need for a few key appliances. Like a percolator, microwave oven, scattered cutlery, the wildest array of mugs you’ve ever seen and the biggest menace of them all, a refrigerator.
Food is something I enjoy. Especially if it looks good, smell nice and tastes better. South Africans are living in a rainbow nation, which is just a polite way of saying that the citizens of our great nation is a melting pot of a gazillion cultures. And this is where the general concept of what a person might perceive to be good food, gets a little muddled.
One would be very wrong to assume that most people enjoy pasta, pizza, salad or a ham sandwich for lunch. People eat all kinds of shit. Kale on cardboard, tuna on a stick, spices that could burn a hole straight from your throat to your anus and a dozen examples of other inconceivable crap. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with what other people might perceive as delicious but I do have a problem with the fact that everything and anything gets stuck in the same damn fridge. Another common assumption would be to assume that the chosen food are kept in air-tight containers, thereby ensuring the freshness of said food and also, but more importantly, to eliminate the strange, indescribable toxic odours that rise from said food. To keep it from spreading through the rest of the kitchen. Or to a neighbouring country.
People are not that courteous. They are selfish bastards who would put anything in the fridge as long as it would feed their hunger pains come lunchtime. Doesn’t matter if it lapsed the sell-by date with a year.
I made the mistake of opening the fridge on Monday morning and was smacked in the face by a smell so potent and vulgar, I could actually hear it scream for help. I was overwhelmed, but was able to shut the door, moments before I passed out. I didn’t even have time to remove the milk I wanted. When I came to, I was still trying to control my urge to vomit.
But I’m a man. I’m better than this. I’m strong. I’m brave. I’ve been through worse. I’ve seen things. I’ve done things. I’ve raised two teenagers and had first hand experience on how babies can destroy a nappy. Or a shirt. I’ve entered a room where seven teenage boys have been sleeping for three days. I’ve been to India. And I’m still here.
So I took a deep breath and opened the fridge again. I immediately knew it was a mistake. This was different. This was toxic. This was a bio-hazard. This was trying to kill me. I still couldn’t figure out what the source of the aroma was. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t the decomposing, severed head of that co-worker who is on my fantasy hit list. There was no head. Or anything remotely suspicious. No dead cat. Or bucket of puke. Not even a tuna/kale/seaweed/cardboard salad. Nothing. Being the person who I am, I deduced that the only logical explanation for the foul smell was that someone was able to capture the essence of a Zombie fart and keep it in the fridge.
I did what any brave man would do in a situation like that. I shut the door, leaned against the wall for support, took another deep breath and ran to one of my colleagues for help. This colleague was a female. Obviously. Most men will agree that there are some things women do better. These activities include giving birth, silencing a screaming baby, putting a plaster on the bruised knee of a toddler, washing dishes, bringing beer and preparing my favourite meal. And of course, getting rid of a foul smell in a refrigerator.
The kind lady suggested I place a cup of vinegar in the fridge, as it would soak up the odour. After she shared her wisdom with yours truly, it took her another eight seconds to realise that I wasn’t there for advise. I was never going to open that fridge again. I barely survived the nasal version of the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan.
After receiving some counselling, I returned to work the next day. The counselling was very effective because I completely forgot about the atrocious smell I experienced the day before and opened the white crypt without thinking. The death smell was gone and replaced by an overwhelming aroma of vinegar that made my eyes water.
I got my milk, and then after pondering the reality of my situation, poured it down the drain. I would like to apologize to every starving kid reading this post but there was no way in hell I was going to drink something that has been contaminated by something that belongs on an episode of the Walking Dead.
Unfortunately, my uncontrollable urge to stuff my face when I’m hungry, will imply that at some point in the future I will break that promise. And open IT again…
So far so good. It’s been three days since I’ve had the need to open our damned office refrigerator.