There's an alien living in my refrigerator. I saw it when I moved aside the ketchup so I could find a pudding cup for Junior's lunch. There, underneath the bag of leftover sliced pineapple was a small, black, furry thing.
And I swear to you, it winked at me.
I never used to have this problem. In the days before Junior, nothing grew in my refrigerator. I never found any previously undiscovered life forms lurking behind the ketchup, because frankly, I didn't have ketchup in the refrigerator. In the days before Junior, I had a small fridge. It held martini olives, beer and the occasional box of leftover sushi.
Unfortunately, children do not eat martini olives, beer or leftover sushi. They eat weird stuff like vegetables, yogurt and huge containers of milk. And to store all those things, you need a really large fridge. So when we came to Gilroy, we bought a refrigerator the size of the Titanic.<br?
And that's when I started finding aliens.
Now, I'm pretty sure this is a bad thing. And I'm pretty sure there are super moms out there who clean their refrigerators daily. Nothing grows in super mom's fridge. The shelves sparkle. The vegetable bins don't have liquefied lettuce floating in them. And super moms can see into plastic containers without peering through a layer of tomato sauce stain.
I'm not one of those moms. I'm what you might call "domestically challenged." And a large fridge doesn't help. There's too much space in which leftovers can hide. And truthfully, I've been known to ignore the mess in the fridge until it's so full, the door won't shut.
At that point, the fridge is usually pretty gross. Cleaning it requires a gargantuan effort. I wear rubber gloves and carry tongs. I use the tongs to remove anything so disgusting even I wouldn't touch it. They also come in handy when I have to beat new life forms into submission before making the garbage disposal eat them. I did try wearing a gas mask once - but it obscured my view into the cracks and crevices of the lunch meat bin, so I stopped.
Once I'm dressed for the attack, I start at the top. I move aside the various water bottles that are half full; thanks to Junior who has never met a water bottle he could either finish or throw away. Unfortunately, Junior has become a master at the fine art of backwashing, so these really aren't fun to look at. Once they're gone, I can move onto the really icky part.
These are the misshapen lumps of aluminum foil that live in my fridge. You never know what you will find in mystery foil. It could be leftover pizza. It could be mealworms for the lizard. It could be a turkey leg from last Thanksgiving. It could be anything - that's what makes mystery foil so frightening. You never know if what's inside is going to ooze out and attack you.
Of course, if I were super mom this would never happen. The mystery rolls would be neatly labeled with the contents and dated. The plastic containers would not have a trace of tomato sauce stain on them. And I wouldn't have any new life forms living in my fridge.
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that my fridge will come in handy when Junior is older. Surely he'll get extra credit in natural science class when he brings mystery foil wrapped aliens to school.
See? There's always a bright side.