M. Giant's
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Monday, October 16, 2006  

Unfrozen Assets

Well, the good news was that I didn’t have to defrost the chest freezer.

I don’t know if it’s the cats, or if it has something to do with the remodeling, but our freezer downstairs has come unplugged a couple of times in the past few weeks. The first time wasn’t so bad. While looking for stuff for Trash to make into the week’s lunches one Sunday I discovered that the items within weren’t so much in deep freeze as deep refrigeration. Sure enough, the plug had come out of the wall. It must have happened the day before, because everything was still pretty cold. The frozen pizzas had gotten soft, but we threw them all in the oven and I had them for lunch that week. Minimal harm done, plus not so much cooking needed.

The situation was less positive when I went down for the same errand last night. I’m used to seeing a layer of frost and a wisp of fog when I open the freezer lid. Not shiny inner walls and a powerful whiff of what smelled like beer left open at room temperature for three weeks.

So yes, not only had the plug come out of the wall again, it had actually broken in the process. Two of the prongs were twisted and the third, the ground prong, had snapped clean off and was still sticking out of the outlet. As before, I was at a loss as to how this had happened. But this time, wrestling with that conundrum was basically my way of putting off dealing with the problem at hand, specifically, how much of what was in the freezer was salvageable, and how I was going to deal with the rest of it.

Trash was still working on that night’s dinner and the week’s lunches upstairs, and M. Small hadn’t gone to bed yet, so there wasn’t much I could do for now except close the freezer lid to prevent the smell of spoiling chicken, steak, hot dogs, and pizza from settling into everything in the basement (which, thanks to the current remodel, represents about 75% of everything we own – including all of our clothes and bedding).

After M. Small went to bed, I went to work, double-bagging sickly-soft packages of food while the smell got stronger with each layer I excavated. Finally there was nothing left in there but an inch or so of pink water that smelled like a crime scene. Looking back, I now realize that I should have been grateful that it was a) still pink and b) still water. God knows what I would have found in another week or two.

Even so, it was a gagworthy task extracting that noisome organic slurry into an empty kittly litter bucket with a mechanical sponge mop (which I threw away afterwards, because I don’t need it to continue stinking up the basement where we sleep). Then I wiped out the inside of the freezer with dish soap and bleach and plugged the remaining two surviving electrical prongs back into the wall, and took a shower. Even after which, I wasn’t able to attack my delayed dinner with as much gusto as Trash might have liked.

She came downstairs after I was done, and commented on the fact that if the smell was still present now, it must have been unbearable before. She even suggested bringing Phantom down to freshen things up a bit. It wasn’t quite as bas as the smell we slept over that one night in Austin, but it still necessitated lighting some candles and incense.

About sixty pounds of stinky food and an even stinkier sponge mop spent the night by our curb. Fortunately, garbage day was today. One more thing to be grateful for. See, I'm all about the bright side.

posted by M. Giant 6:46 PM 6 comments


Okay now I am freaking out...guess what? Our freezer came unplugged too....we don't have cats so it must be the remodel. I applaud you for cleaning yours out....we just plugged it back in to refreeze everything and will empty it when we get back into our house. I know...gross!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2006 at 7:33 AM  

Oh, been there, done that. Talk about nasty! I can't blame a remodel or our 3 cats for this, but I can blame the electrician who came to do some re-wiring, unplugged the freezer to use the plug for some of his stuff and FORGOT to replug it in. We didn't discover it until 2 weeks later (good seal on my freezer I guess). I had to dive head first into it cause the better half threatened to barf and had to leave the house while I was working. I seriously considered looking for a crime scene clean-up company for the job. So much for the steaks, spareribs, turkey, etc. that died a nasty horrible death. I don't even want to think about how much money we lost in thrown away food.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2006 at 12:18 PM  

Sooooo... was it the cats?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2006 at 1:42 PM  

Bad luck! In NZ you can sometimes claim for this on your home and contents insurance. Can you do this in the US?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2006 at 3:08 AM  

I have a serious gag reflex, so when our freezer broke I had to ask my darling wife to clean it out. She lasted 10 minutes before we hauled the whole thing out to the trash and left it - food and all. Gross.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2006 at 12:58 PM  

Okay, so wait, am I being dense or do you still have a busted plug, with no working ground? Dude, speaking of ground, burning your new remodel to it would SUUUUCK.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at October 23, 2006 at 8:57 PM  

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