Like opening a cupboard to a universe where a lion is a god and a mouse wields a sword, The Fridge Door is the portal through which a magical world exists - one where the laws of decay and flow of time is suspended. Food simply sits there, immobile, enjoying a prolonged right to live. Often bountiful, you may even discover the gift from a distant angel who have bestowed ready-to-consume food on you. There is also a legend that food will magically appear in between the seconds of opening and re-opening the door but that is an experience that still eludes me no matter how many times I try.
However, not everything deserves to live in this Neverland for food. The worthiness of every unconsumed and semi-consumed food sitting on the shelves of that artificially-cooled universe deserves to be questioned and I, am the question. If I was in a covert intelligence group, they would probably call me "The Cleaner" - the man who will hunt down and finish off the food that have overstayed their welcome so that the sanctity and balance of The Fridge is maintained. I am the man they call in to commit fridge genocide.
With the ruling Minister of Kitchen (because we are a democracy), my Mrs, away for most of the month on a research trip, a window of opportunity to do some "cleaning" presented itself. I had time, but everything takes longer than it should be and I wanted to be thorough.
The Fridge Door was opened, the cool wind emanated from the depths of the Fridge and dissolved into the tropical air. The boundary between the two worlds disappeared.
I scanned each compartment, mentally made notes and planned a strategy for my attack. I sensed the trembling of their souls within their motionless self. I took them out of the fridge, one by one, and demanded to see their expiry papers.
"Good. Good. Still good. Oh look at this! You my friend, have expired. *Trash*", I said almost mechanically without emotion. The sorting has begun.
"You're fine, move along. You, nope. You right there, hold on." And at that moment, somewhere on earth, a little cabbage gulped.
"You are good before when? Yesterday?"
"You sure you are still ok? What is this brown thing I see over here? Well you're lucky I'm in a good mood today Sir so I'm going to cook you for lunch today. But you on the other hand...", as I shifted my attention to the single slice of moldy bread, "Your time is up. I'm here to put you where you belong."
This went on for a while with the three clear piles forming: "To Trash", "To consume in the next few days" and "To continue storing till a future time". New food discoveries were made and perishables tethering on the edge of their lifespan ended up as food to save them from their misery. Small portions were consumed expeditiously so as to make room for new additions and I could once again see the back of The Fridge.
As I cleared the last bit of the top chiller shelf, I felt a sense of calm wash over me. I felt a renewed consciousness for the finite time that every piece of food have and I wanted to ensure they are treated in the best possible way. Then, I looked at the trash and a little bit of guilt surfaced. If only I had consumed them earlier or I haven't bought them, they wouldn't be facing this fate. For a moment, it felt like there was a metaphor there somewhere but I can't seem to figure it out.
With a final glance to the now neatly organized universe of stored food, I shut the door behind me and the lights automatically turned itself off. The balance of The Fridge has been restored. It is time to go grocery shopping.