Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Entry #15

May 18th, 2009 by Wordsman


Jon was hungry.  It was the middle of the night, and he was trying to get another paper finished.  It was also eleven hours since he had last eaten something.  Jon hated to interrupt the paper-writing process, especially when he was so close to done, but he also knew that his mental functions started to decline sharply when he got this hungry.  Jon understood how the human body worked, and he always reluctantly gave in to its necessities, provided, of course, that they were actually necessary.

So it was that he proceeded down into the kitchen area, searching for something to eat.  There was always food there, but if you only count things that Jon was willing to eat, there was never very much.  Still, he figured that he would probably be able to find something.  This thought may very well have been a sign that the combination of lack of food and lack of sleep was starting to affect his brain processes.  The fact that he was trying to do this search without first turning on the lights definitely was.

Jon stepped in something sticky.  He groaned.  Jon believed that keeping a house clean was important at all times, not just in case anyone came over to visit but because a clean home went hand in hand with a happy mood.  This was why he, among other things, never wore shoes inside the house.  While this certainly decreased the amount of mud and dirt that ended up on the floors, it was also a policy that Jon frequently ended up regretting, most frequently when he was walking through the kitchen.

Hopping on one foot to keep from spreading the stickiness anywhere else (and, just for good measure, cursing), Jon worked his way back to the light switch and flipped it on.  Then he swore more loudly and let his foot drop back to the floor, because it was clear that there was no point in trying to contain the mess.  It was everywhere.  A multi-colored flow of liquid had spread almost the entire length and width of the kitchen floor, and it was edging its way toward the carpeted areas of the apartment.  It had gotten to the point where paper towels were no longer an option; he would need sandbags.

A couple seconds’ inspection was all it took to see that the source of the flood was their refrigerators.  The sticky substance was slowly oozing out of all four of them.  Jon had always thought that having four fridges for three people was somewhat ridiculous.  He might have been able to understand if they were full of alcohol.  Jon did not really drink himself, but he knew that it was something that college students did, and he felt that he could handle that idea.  The fridges in his apartment, however, generally contained an assortment of food that had no rhyme or reason to it whatsoever.  Most often it was vast quantities of leftovers that had been scavenged from God only knew where (much like the fridges themselves, Jon had always assumed).  These were often poorly contained, and they were never eaten quickly enough, meaning that it was always up to Jon to clear out anything that appeared to be growing mold or sentience or anything like that.  It was a battle that never ended; every time he carried out a series of trays or plates or whatever, by the next day they had been replaced by something else.

Removing his socks, Jon gingerly stepped through the gunk to see what his roommates’ penchant for acquiring free food had wrought this time.  He opened one fridge.  He stared.  Then he opened another and saw the same thing.  Just to make sure, he checked the other two, but they were no different.  All four of them were jam-packed with gallon tubs of ice cream.

Jon was not amused.

He tiptoed back out of the kitchen, wiped his feet off with a paper towel, and went over to the door to the basement room that his roommates shared.  They would still be up, of course, playing video games on into the night.  Jon wished they weren’t, just so that he could rudely awaken them.  “Dave!  Jordan!” he shouted.  “Get up here!”

There was a brief pause, filled not with the sounds of sleepy people struggling to understand why they were being pulled from a wonderful state of sleep but of aliens or terrorists being shot by bullets or lasers or whatever.  Then the heads of his two roommates appeared at the bottom of the stairs.  “What is it?” Dave asked.

“Did you two by any chance pick up a large quantity of ice cream today?”

“It was left over from a party they were having for prospective applicants,” Dave explained.  “No one else wanted it, so we got it all for free.  You can have some, if you want.”

Jon was lactose-intolerant, almost as seriously as he was roommate-idiocy-intolerant.  “And then you put it all in our fridges?” he asked.

“Yes,” Jordan said simply.

“Not freezers,” Jon went on, his voice rising in pitch, “but fridges.”

“What are you trying to say?” Dave asked innocently.

“That it’s melting all over the floor, you morons!” Jon roared.

Their eyes went wide.  “Oh no,” Dave said hollowly.

“We have no time to lose,” said Jordan, and the two of them quickly bounded up the stairs.

Jon was shocked.  As they passed, he asked, “So . . . you’re going to clean it up?”

“No,” Dave replied, rolling his eyes at this crazy talk.  “We have to eat everything that’s left before that melts too!”

“Waste not, want not,” agreed Jordan, pulling open a fridge and removing a very sticky-looking container of ice cream.

Jon tried more shouting.  He tried threats.  He tried promising to buy them new ice cream.  Nothing got through.  So he trudged sadly back up the stairs, knowing that he now had two tasks to complete before he could sleep.

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