I'm a big fan of the "A Christmas Carol." I love the timeless tale, no matter how it's told (For the record, I think Bill Murray's "Scrooged" is hilarious.) holds up and reminds us all of the wonders of Christmas.
I especially needed a good old dose of Dickens while strolling through the aisles of my local grocery store yesterday morning. Normally I wouldn't go out on Christmas Eve day. I'm usually pretty much set. But let's just say that one of my novels over performed slightly in the UK and Canada (thank you, readers of Fresh Ice!) so I set out to purchase one last, unexpected gift for Hubby.
For the record, those in the liquor store part of the grocery store were in a lovely mood. I was almost in despair that I wouldn't get a good Christmas story. And then I crossed into the grocery store and it took about five minutes to find...I'll call them Wanda and Rollie. Rollie wore a "Dusty Dynasty" style of beard and had a cart that contained three grocery items and his cane. Wanda had recently colored her hair ten shades too dark and also had a cart with three grocery items and her cane. Wanda and Rollie were doing sort of a square dance in the middle of the meat aisle. She'd move forward and he'd turn around. While going through this choreography, she'd mutter something and he'd reply back in what I thought was a very calm, normal tone. Finally, he turned one more time, facing me and said, "It's okay, I'll just go back for it." To which she replied in a loud, and utterly enraged tone, "YOU MAKE ME INSANE!"
Merry Christmas everyone!
But I'm not writing to you on this frosty Christmas morning because of Rollie and Wanda. No, I want to talk about ghosts of Christmas past. Monday night I worked late at Stuff Installed and decided, since it would be sort of rude and pointless to call people the night before the night before Christmas (also I wasn't in the mood for any more grumpy people answering the phone and yelling at me for calling them), that I would clean the office kitchen.
If you've read Not While I'm Chewing! you have a pretty good idea of what the kitchen at Stuff, Installed looks like. (And if you haven't, remember, it's available along with "Unsafe at Any Speed" on Amazon and at Smashwords.com) So you know it's more a wall of cabinets, a counter top and a sink. It's become sort of a pit of despair with the cabinet shelves covered in coffee grounds and granola (apparently PM and NBM aren't terribly tidy when it comes to food stuffs) and broken, dirty plastic ware and coffee cups are stacked everywhere.
For the record, I don't really use the kitchen. I use the microwave to heat up my lunch. I make sure I wipe up what I use and clean if I've dripped or made crumbs. But other than that, I just don't use it. So I was, yes, slightly stunned and SHOCKED when I started opening door and finding evidence of a ghost of Christmas past.
Elsie W. was gone, but certainly NOT forgotten.
It started with coffee cups. Chipped, cracked, and clearly from an old lady collection, I found a handful of coffee cups, all with a ring of hot pink lipstick on the lip of the cup. I tried washing them. I have no idea WHAT sort of toxic waste lipstick she used, but it wasn't washing off.
Then I found...well a couple plastic bottles of spices. You know the ones you get at the grocery store? Okay, one was a bottle of Lawry's seasoned salt which I'm guessing Elsie used on her trout when she microwaved it, or on her meatloaf she cooked in the George Foreman grill before it was banned from the office because that plastic bottle was so covered in old grease, I couldn't read the label until I scrubbed it clean in hot water and soap. Even then, I could really only clean a layer of the petrified animal fat off the bottle. That followed the coffee cups into the trash.
Then I found...well, the label sound ground mustard.
Ground Mustard is a lovely yellow powder. I use it all the time when I cook, which isn't that often, but still...anyway, I found a little plastic bottle of the stuff and it wasn't covered in grease! I was pretty jazzed, until I opened it.
Ground mustard should never, ever, be a liquid...nor should it be black. I don't know what sort of kitchen death voodoo Elsie performed on that little bottle, but clearly it had been the victim of something she did. That I set in NBM's "in box" because that was too good not to share.
Finally I opened the bottom cabinet door. This was a door I know no one has opened since the day Elsie stormed out of the office while calling down the wrath of the Almighty on NBM's head. How do I know? Because when I opened the door I saw two things: Elsie's have broken, very stained, possibly disease covered coffee maker, and under that...a wide yellow stain that looked for all the world like egg yolk. A lot of egg yolk. A LOT of egg yolk.
Friends, I didn't have the strength to deal with that. So I did what anyone would do, I put all my unpleasant ghosts of Christmas past in that cabinet (I shoved the NESCO roaster Noelle C left behind when she stormed out of the office while giving PM the iciest of silent treatments onto the top shelf of the cabinet and I shut the door. I doubt anyone will dare go in there again, and hopefully much like Scrooge, I will now be rid of the ghosts of Christmas past!
(At least until I forget about it and offer to clean the kitchen next year.)
Merry Christmas to all and to all a wonderful holiday time of peace and joy!
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