A note from my breakroom fridge


To the owner of this Tupperware,

A while ago, my girlfriend and I got a delicious chili recipe from a friend and decided to try it for ourselves. Debatably, it was more of a stew than a chili, but we enjoyed it quite a lot. A couple of days ago, my girlfriend divided the remaining chili into two containers; she would take one to work for lunch, and I would take the other.

The next day, I got up and rushed out the house so quickly that I forgot my lunch. But the next day — yesterday — I paused just long enough to grab the Tupperware out of the fridge, stuff it in a plastic bag, and jam it in my briefcase. I brought it to work and put it in the fridge.

At lunchtime, I retrieved a plastic bag with a Tupperware container full of chili from the fridge, microwaved it, and ate it. It was even more delicious than the chili I remembered! But the real surprise was the slab of beef I found at the bottom. We hadn’t put any beef in, so how did it come to be here? Life is full of mystery, I decided. I shrugged, ate it, and thought no more of it.

That is, until last night, when I asked my girlfriend where the slab of beef in my chili had come from. She looked at me like I was insane. “There’s no beef in that chili. It’s vegetarian. You were standing right there when we made it. That must have been some baked-on stuff from the bottom of the pot.”

I said that it wasn’t — it was clearly a slab of beef a centimetre thick and the size of my palm. We argued back and forth about whether this was possible and why I eat mysterious things that I find. “If I had known we would be arguing about this,” I said, “I swear to God I would have taken a photograph.”

I finally pulled out the Tupperware, and we realized it wasn’t one of ours. We decided I must have accidentally eaten some chili made by one of my housemates, who obviously had seen us making chili and decided to make some too. This triggered another argument over whether I should apologize. (I said that I shouldn’t; it was their own fault for putting things on my shelf and for just generally kind of sucking.)

But then it occurred to me that what must have happened is that, on the very same day that I brought a Tupperware container full of chili/stew in a plastic bag to work, one of my co-workers must also have done the very same thing. In horror, I realize that I have become one of the things I most despise: the sneaky co-worker who steals lunches out of the breakroom fridge. I never wanted to be that guy. I just grabbed the wrong one by accident. For eating your lunch, I am full of remorse — remorse and chili.

So, to make a long story short, I owe you a lunch. Please come ask me, and I will be happy to buy you one today or on the day of your choosing.

Peter Lynn

3 Responses to “A note from my breakroom fridge”

  1. 1 Eric

    I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for the whole ‘why you eat mysterious food you find’ discussion.

  2. It involved a rehashing of the time I ate what I thought was a mint that I found stuck to my buttock after showering, which turned out to just be a sliver of soap.

    I can now follow up with the resolution of the chili mystery, by the way. It turned out that I ate the lunch of the guy in the office next to me. He skipped lunch two days ago because he was working so hard that he forgot to eat. When I came in yesterday, my uneaten lunch was still there, but by the time I put his Tupperware back in the fridge, it was gone. He’d taken it, thinking it was the one he’d forgotten to eat. Where I’d found a mysterious hunk of meat where I hadn’t expected it, he wondered, “Where’s the beef?” and phoned home to his wife to complain. So it worked out in the end that we’d basically had a chili exchange program.

  3. You monster.

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