The Crisper

It is apartment 3-B and the name on the lease reads, Mrs. Winifred Cuthbert.

Winnie, as she’s known to friends and family, is a dowager. A widow, entitled as such back in 1974 when her husband of 17 years ran off with his much younger secretary. Ever the prideful woman, Winnie can’t admit she’s divorced. She even went so far as to purchase a lovely little urn to convince visitors of her widowhood. She keeps it on the mantle near a picture of her beloved Alfred. What’s in the urn? A bent paper clip, a matchbook and the silica-like contents of two Etch-A-Sketches.

Winnie is nothing if not thorough in ALL her ruses.

But the gist of this post, Dear Reader, isn’t about Winnie, her pride or her failed marriage. It’s about her refrigerator. It’s an old, two door model—now approaching 18 years of dutiful service in Winnie’s kitchen. It shimmies and shakes constantly and has been on it’s last leg now for 12 of those years, but because it was the last purchase she and Alfred made as husband and wife, Winnie can’t part with it. And if she knew what happened in her refrigerator every night, she’d never, ever want to part with it.

You see, Winnie’s Amana is a magic refrigerator.

Late at night, incredible things happen throughout the fridge, especially in the vegetable crisper drawer.


Our story takes place circa January, 2003.

There’s a cucumber, an onion (which by the way, has been voted Head Veggie and perceived by some to be the Leader for the Free Whirl…..pool).  There’s also a carrot, a small jar of minced garlic, a half a head of lettuce and a squash.  On this particular night, they’re discussing the current politically charged climate inside the old Amana.

Things are very tense.

Let’s follow along:

CARROT: OK everyone! Everyone!!! Please take your places here in the drawer. Let’s begin tonight’s State of the Onion address.

ONION: Thanks carrot and welcome all veggies. Tonight, the topic I’ll be discussing might be alarming and frightening to some of you. It would seem that the very peace of this great refrigerator nation of ours is in great jeopardy. Right now, we’re safe in the confines of our crisper drawer, but one drawer over– in Meats and Deli, an evil foe is threatening our very existence. Intelligence indicates that tyrannical dictator, Salami Hussein has already killed countless curds.

GARLIC: Mr. Onion, you….you can’t mean…not the Cottage Cheese? I just spoke with him last week. How tragic! His expiration date wasn’t up for days!!!

ONION: Indeed. We also have reports that Salami committed this heinous crime using weapons of mash destruction–namely French’s Mustard Gas. My fellow Crispericans, we have a big problem and it needs our immediate attention. Salami Hussein will not be happy until he takes over the entire refrigerator. Intelligence has also revealed that he and his well armed militia are moving north…to the freezer. I’m afraid we have no choice but to go to war in Ice Rack.

CUCUMBER: But Mr. Onion! How can we do that without consent of the other residents and inhabitants of this refrigerator? We’ll need approval before we can go in. Besides, our detractors will just say we’re invading for the Freon.

ONION: Be that as it may, Cucumber, but do you want to take that chance? Do you want to risk the safety of your wife and your little gherkins? I’m sorry, but this is a very big dill! Someone please get me my Security Adviser, Condoleeza Minute Rice.

(There’s a knock on the drawer; enter Condoleeza Minute Rice)

RICE: Good evening, Mr. Onion. I have the status reports from our Allies regarding Ice Rack.

ONION: Very good, Condi. You OK? You look a little grainy.

RICE: I’m fine Sir. The meeting was in the pantry and it was very hot, so I’m clumping a bit, but I think you’ll be most interested in how our Allies are feeling about the situation in the Middle Yeast.

ONION: Let’s hear it!

RICE: Well, we had a productive meeting, Sir. Of course the English Muffins support any and everything we choose to do. No problem there. The German Prime Minister, Helmut Cole-Slaw isn’t happy and will order sanctions against us if we go into Ice Rack and of course, the French Fries won’t commit.

ONION: What did they say?

RICE: Well actually, nothing Sir. They refused to talk and instead, just retreated back into their resealable box.

ONION: Dammit! I knew this would happen. Condi, this won’t be a popular decision, but I think we’re gonna have to go into to Ice Rack with or without the support of our Allies. Once there, our goal should to take down the top evil-doers—I want Salami and his henchman, Abu Musab al-Zucchini caught….dead or alive.

RICE: Consider it done, Sir. We have reports that both terrorists are hiding out in the Ice Rackian capital.

ONION: You mean Freezer Baghdad?

RICE: Yes Sir.

ONION: Very well.  Not that I care, but I am a little curious…does anyone have the major religions’ take on our probable invasion?

LETTUCE: Yes sir.  Let me leaf through my notes…ah yes, here it is.  Well,  the Butterists have our back.   So do the Mueslix…at least most American ones, but 98-percent of those in the Gaza Strip are completely opposed.

ONION: You mean that sad little piece of land in Israel?

LETTUCE: No Sir.  The cut of meat.

ONION: I see.

LETTUCE: Additionally Sir, the Efrangelicals say we should do what we must.

ONION: What about the Jews?

LETTUCE: We’ve not been able to reach them, Sir.   They’ve been  roaming around in the dessert aisle for the past 40-years.

ONION: You’re Jewish, right?   Your last name is Iceburg, is it not?

LETTUCE: Yes, it is but we’re not Wandering Jews.

ONION: Got anything on the  Scientologists?

LETTUCE: Well frankly Sir, I don’t because I couldn’t think of a funny or clever food-related pun to go with them.

ONION: Nice work, Lettuce.  I admire your honesty.   Anyway, let’s call a special session of the Drawer tomorrow and discuss our plans. Let’s contact all members of the Spice Cabinet and the Joint Cheese of Staff. And find me Donald Rumcake and my where in the hell is my Vice-Onion? I haven’t seen him all day.

SQUASH: He wasn’t feeling well, Sir. He was experiencing chest pains, so he checked himself into the Mayo Clinic.

ONION: The one in Minnesota?

SQUASH: No Sir, the jar in the refrigerator door.

LETTUCE: Sir, how will we attack Freezer Baghdad and the other hostile parts of Ice Rack, such as the Sunni Delight Triangle?

GARLIC: Should we consider blasting them with the MOABB, Sir?

SQUASH: The Mother of All Bon-Bons?

ONION: No, we’ll start with conventional condiments and a salt them that way. Then, we’ll pull out the big guns. We’ll thaw Ice Rack in such a way, the world will know that it can’t kick around Crispericans anymore. We’ll use microwaves.

GARLIC: Sir, you don”t mean……?

ONION: Yep! We’re gonna go nukular on their ice.



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