By Cara MacNeil
English and Secondary Education Major
George Carlin had a stand up routine about refrigerators — how prehistoric man decided that it was cold outside and he should build a box to stay warm. Once inside the box he realized his meat spoiled so he made a cold box inside the warm box. Upon the invention of butter humans realized that there had to be a slightly warmer box inside the cold box inside the warm box or else the butter gets too hard to spread.
Fridges are the center of the kitchen. It used to be mainly a storage unit — people still cooked but they needed somewhere to put the food. Eventually we shed the Cooking Gene and now most of us are relatively dependent on pre-made frozen meals. Being without a fridge is like being in prison — you’re isolated from most food groups and chained to the dry goods section of Wegman’s. Right now I’m not just in prison, I’m in the Jurassic trying to preserve my food caveman style.
There I was, in a puddle created by the now-dead fridge, holding my yogurt, milk and butter against my chest, feeling like I’d just been hit by a tornado. There’s a moment of shock, a moment of silence and then you just have to get to work because the Yoplait is sweating and that’s not a good thing. I have the basement room and one perk is that it’s always a bit colder than the rest of the stead. I immediately sped to the window and carefully stacked my two Tupperwared pastas, my condiments (sans Mayo, I’m not that brave), my brand-new butter and my yogurt against the window (but not too close, this wasn’t an invitation to ants). I had to balance everything precariously while keeping it far enough from the edge that one errant swipe of my arm in the middle of the night wouldn’t careen the pile to the floor (or worse, me) but still in front of the drapery so that it was hidden from the pesky pests looming in the dirt outside.
During the night I had nightmares about freezers. I woke in a panic thinking I had to eat four boxes of frozen chocolate-covered bananas while I devoured a dozen melting pints of Halo. There were nightmares about beer slowly losing its delicious cold tang that I’ve repressed because of the horror. When I woke I had a delicious breakfast of warm yogurt (warm yogurt is on the menu for a while) and gooey butter on toast (let’s be clear, the butter was gooey before hitting the toast). As I ate them I felt like I was roughing it; a true pioneer — I had sort of preserved my food for the night and I wasn’t choking on poisonous preservatives that were rebelling against the warmer temperatures. I was like my caveman ancestors … except now I’m thinking of getting another kind of small cold box to put in my warm box: a cooler.