Bowl of soup


Tuesday morning, I grabbed a large Pyrex container of split pea soup out of my freezer for that day’s lunch. Around noon, I opened it and realized that it was nowhere near defrosting, so I put the lid back on and put it back in its plastic bag. Then the bag ripped and I barely caught it before the Pyrex container hit the floor and cracked, by smashing it into my knee and pinning it there. I put the soup back in the fridge, rubbed the swelling goose egg on my knee, and limped off to the nearby gas station to buy a sandwich.

Wednesday, I was out of the office. Thursday, I ate half the soup for lunch and left the other helping in the fridge for the next day. That afternoon, I got an e-mail from the office manager warning us that the fridge would be cleaned out for the holidays the next day, so I took a note to take lunch a little early the next day and make sure my stuff was out of the way.

This morning, because I was out of milk and time, my wife gave me a couple of cookies to take for breakfast, which I put into a pocket of my briefcase. I later discovered that I now had a briefcase pocket full of powdered sugar, and had to take my wallet out of it and lick it clean. When I limped into the break room for my second cup of coffee around eleven o’clock, I noticed a couple of dishes on the break room table. I dimly remembered a couple of something being there when I’d come for my first cup of coffee, and now I could tell what they were. By the time I came for my third cup, I noticed that one of these dishes was my half-full container of soup.

The fridge clear-out had begun. Before ten o’clock in the morning, as far as I could tell. What kind of lunatic does a fridge clear-out before lunch?

Irate, I returned to my desk and I fired off an email to the office manager to say that I thought the morning was a little early to be doing so and that she’d left my lunch out, and then wished a merry Christmas to her and a happy food poisoning to me. She answered by saying she’d done the clean-out when she’d had time to do it, that my food hadn’t been sitting out long, and that she would happily give me that address of a nearby after-hours clinic.

Still grumpy after an hour, I went to the break room to retrieve my lunch from where I’d re-refrigerated it. On my way by the break room table, I noticed another familiar-looking Pyrex container. The other dish was mine too, I realized. Curious, I cracked it open—and immediately gagged. It was half full of a previous batch of split pea soup I’d evidently brought in sometime in the last few months. The other half was full of green mold.

Pausing to nearly vomit several times, I washed the putrid mix down the sink, declogged the sink of split pea mold, and washed the container several times. I then microwaved my remaining soup, took it back to my desk, and thought about the fact that I was the reason we were doing a fridge clear-out in the first place, as well as the irony of having the same meal again today. I ate about three spoons of it over the next fifteen minutes, then got up and washed the rest of it down the sink too.

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