Friday, November 25, 2011

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and My Fridge

Good ol' Sammy-T "Cleans the Fridge" Coleridge
So, I was cleaning out my fridge today and thinking about the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I know, it's such a cliché, but I can't help it. We were taking part in our annual day-after-Thanksgiving tradition: the Thanksgiving Purge. [I know what that sounds like, but lest you conjure images of a vomitorium, remember I am completely phobic about barf.]

Part of the Purge involves emptying the fridge of the bearded hummus of yesteryear, fetid cheese, and other varieties of organic matter in various stages of decomposition in recycled yogurt containers. Not only do we need the valuable real estate for our Thanksgiving leftovers, we also need the re-recycled yogurt containers to store them in. So, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Tom Waits [the iPod is essential for this activity for two reasons: 1. the grand hope that in engaging one of my other senses more fully, the sense of smell will take some time off and 2. the piped in music covers the squidgy noises] and I were tackling this task together. Tom Waits growled: Hoist that rag! Samuel Taylor would occasionally rouse from his laudanum stupor to intone: a thousand, thousand slimy things lived on, and so did I. And I would giggle through the gagging.

Now my fridge is nice and full again of delicious food that my monkeys and I cooked together for our big feast yesterday. It will be breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days until we all get sick of it and it takes its turn to dance with the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This is one of those processes that I both loathe and completely take for granted. It's one of those decidedly 21st century, middle-class, first world burdens.

Other things I had to endure today: I had to clear out the monkey hut of unwanted toys and random crap because we have all of these friends and family who send them more toys than they can ever play with; Facebook wouldn't load correctly for about an hour this morning; the website of a major retailer where I wanted to purchase my mom's birthday present and have it shipped to her door without my even having to change out of my pajamas or brush my teeth wouldn't accept the coupon code I had; some lady in a Lexus SUV missed the giant white arrow and line of cars pointing directly at her and tried to drive the wrong way down the one-way Goodwill parking lot causing me to have to sit and wait until that big hot mess righted itself; one of our Wii remotes has been MIA for about 3 weeks causing me to have to reach my hand down the back of the Easy Chair of Doom and feel around for it; the graphic for my blog stats wouldn't update this morning so I had no blue squiggly line of gratification to look at; I had gastric distress from overdoing it a little bit yesterday and then following it with fresh doughnuts for breakfast.

Can you even believe it?! It was the worst day ever.

My dear friend, Mr.Coleridge, slipped out of my consciousness for a wee tipple and left this Chinese proverb behind: A fish doesn't know he swims in water. The water we swim in is pretty singular. We swim in a churning rapids of immediate gratification, virtually unlimited goods and services at our fingertips, relative wealth and peace. Our water is full of these "burdens" of too much food, too much stuff, too much fat, too many choices. Of course we get used to it, we're the fish. Of course, when things don't go as swimmingly as we think they should, or when things are particularly vivid, or when they mess up at the DMV and issue drivers' licenses to people who are clearly blind, we get out of sorts. Sure, there are those "thousand, thousand slimy things" lurking about in the water, but every now and then, it's kind of nice to lift my head out of the primordial ooze and realize that my neck of the ooze is pretty good.

 "A thousand thousand slimy things lived on, and so did I."

So did I.


  1. We do have so much, and at times the so much causes us discomfort in so many odd ways.

  2. I shudder just thinking about the Easy Chair of DOom. I hate thrusting my hands down in the furniture looking for remotes/phones.

  3. I was JUST saying something to my husband yesterday about how much we take for granted--because I was annoyed as crap about the fact that I can't comment on lots of Blogger blogs from IE and I checked Blogger's "known issues" and they've known it was an issue since early October and STILL it's an issue so I HAVE to use Google Chrome to comment on these blogs, which I think is the point of the issue not being addressed since Blogger and Google are such close buddies and I really don't appreciate being "forced" to use Chrome blah blah blah blah.

    I caught myself and realized that I was griping about FREE services which make my life richer in so many ways. Then I was annoyed as crap at myself.

    PS--Eagerly awaiting the "Percy Bysshe Shelley and My Telly" post. I'm pretty sure there are some connections to be made between Ozymandias and the ephemeral nature of celebrity/fame.

  4. @Jewels - it was every bit as horrible as you'd imagine.

    @Masked Mom - it was exactly that sort of grumblefest that prompted this post. I think "Shelley and my Telly" is just brilliant enough for you to write!

    @esbboston - hear, hear! Well said.

  5. This: "It's one of those decidedly 21st century, middle-class, first world burdens." is the best. I love it.

  6. @M-half - Thanks! I love that you love it.


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