The refrigerator: A short story

Your Postmodern Cornucopia
Travis Hornung. Flickr. Santa Cruz, CA, USA. May 27, 2006.

Americans expect their kitchens to be equipped with refrigerators, but these appliances are not common in all parts of the world.  Even Americans who eat primarily fast food and restaurant meals still stock their refrigerators.  How would our meals differ without refrigeration?  We’d have to drink warm beverages including water, soda, and orange juice.  Forget the cold tinkle of ice cubes in iced tea and party punch bowls.  There’d be no keeping supplies of condiments such as pickles, ketchup, mustard, and jam.  Consumption of dairy products like milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream would be uncommon.  There would be no milk and cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, or ice cream sundaes.

Trips to the pantry or dank, dark basement for cans of mushy yellow-green peas and lank grayish green spinach would be necessary.  Bins of potatoes and winter squash would accompany containers of split peas and pinto beans.  Shopping daily for fresh bread, meat, and produce would be required.  Fresh fruit would last only days.  We’d have to eat only locally grown, seasonal fruit.  There’d be no oranges in Michigan, apples in Arizona, kiwi fruit in Connecticut, or bananas in Idaho.

Without the refrigerator, Americans could not enjoy leftover cold pizza, fried chicken, or Chinese food for breakfast.  There would be no midnight refrigerator raids to eat that last piece of apple pie, savor the crispy corner portion of lasagna, or build a sandwich from leftover turkey.  The lullaby of its hum wouldn’t induce overnight naps on the couch after television marathons.  There would be no place to post children’s drawings, doctor’s appointments, or grocery lists.  What’s on your refrigerator?  What’s in your refrigerator?  Do you have a favorite midnight refrigerator raid story?

© Laura Rizzardini, Inc., 2011

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