Every day there is another news release touting the results of health and food inspections on local restaurants. No failure is spared. Bacteria crawling on the counters? Cockroaches? A fingertip in the linguine? Raccoons barking under the freezer? You’re gonna get a violation. And a shut-down. And then you’re going to be on TV.
Me, personally, I’d never allow a food inspector in my house. Not even with a court order. They are the last person on earth who should see the inside of my refrigerator or stove. If they did, they would be back with more than a violation. They would need a net or a snare, maybe even a flame thrower. A hunting rifle might be a good idea too, but no AR-15’s please. Somebody could get hurt in all that fracas. And I’m too lazy to go buy Spackle to patch up all those bullet holes.
A kitchen inspection would get me a big sign on my front door. The notice would be at least 2 feet across. And in 5 different languages with big, bold letters: Cerrado! Ferme’!, Ausbleiben! Maybe in Swahili, Kufungwa!…or whatever. In any language, it would say: Closed! Closed! And Closed!
To clean up, I would have to order a Hazmat suit. All because of the refrigerator and the stove. Maybe I should just ignore the refrigerator. No reason to risk life or limb. Cold temperatures keep things dormant…At least small things. Something big that should ordinarily die after a long period of time just stays moist , waiting, lurking under the meat cooler. And it knows when you are coming for it. Temperatures above freezing are not low enough to stupefy that summer sausage . And it’s swelling, growing, getting bigger. Somebody go get a pitchfork and a shock collar. You may as well give it a name, like Zeuglodon!
The oven is supposed to be self-cleaning but I’ve never seen it once pick up a sponge, shovel, or even a paper towel. And then there’s the summer heat, who wants to ramp up the oven to 900 degrees (Fahrenheit) and turn the house into a spa?
The entire stove is a forensics expert’s nightmare. It has no bodies or mummies, just cremains. I suspect that there’s some kind of monster lurking in it too, one that is not heat-labile. Even the cats won’t go near it. And then there are the noises…not rats or poltergeists, more like grizzly bears. I can’t help worrying, What if it attacks me first? Somebody get me a spear!
There’s a lot of ash in the bottom of the oven, too. It’s a veritable crematorium. If I sort through the ash, I can find insect parts, usually legs. I don’t know where the wings go…they probably have flown off to insect heaven, if there is such a thing. I can imagine a cockroach telling St. Peter, “I was just ambling through, looking for food when I slipped on some godawful drippings and ended up on this escalator to Heaven.”
There’s sticky stuff on the oven bottom. It gives the oven floor a gritty, shiny look. I don’t know what it is. Could be ectoplasm but I think it’s food for whatever wildlife that comes along. Maybe it’s alive too, because it likes to suck the fibers off of paper towels when I try to scrub it off. I got my hand in it once, but only once. I thought I would be stuck there forever. Some days I worry that it might crawl out of the oven, like a giant amoeba. I could get digested whole, like the actors in that Hollywood movie, The Blob.
Who’s going to believe me when I yell for help? I should warn the food inspectors, but I don’t think they will understand. If I call my husband, Howard, he’ll just say, “Excuses, excuses. You just don’t want to clean the kitchen.” And then nothing will change, it will stay just like it’s always been.