I'm the ice box man at our house. I'm Ice Box Man! I
answer the call when there's a need at the ice box. Two
very important responsibilities, the first one is:
keeping people from standing with the door to the
refrigerator open for more than 45 minutes at a time.
God, that gets me mad - "YOU WANT TO CLOSE THAT GODDAMN
DOOR PLEASE? YOU WANT TO CLOSE THE DOOR?! YOU'RE
LETTING OUT ALL OF THE COLDNESS I SAVED OVERNIGHT! COME
ON, CLOSE THE DOOR!" - you know, some guy smoked eight
joints and he's gonna inventory my refrigerator.
"Ummmm...Ummm...Uhhh.... "Here, here's fifty dollars-
go down to the Burger King. Willya, God! We'll save
more than that on electricity alone. Close the goddamn
door, willya?" Look, if you wanna know what's in there,
why don't you take a Polaroid picture and go away and
look at the picture and then come back and figure out
what you want. Years ago, we didn't have Polaroid
cameras. We had to make an OIL PAINTING of what was in
Aah, I don't let it get me down. 'Cause there's a
bigger responsibility. And that is getting into that
refrigerator and deciding which things need to be
thrown away. Most people will not take that
responsibility. Most people will just go and get what
they want, leave everything else alone and say, "Well,
someone else wants that. Someone else will eat that"
Meanwhile, the thing is getting smaller and smaller and
smaller and is, in fact stuck to the rack. Well, I've
got to go in there and decide when to throw things
away. "Chocolate pudding? Does anyone want this last
chocolate pudding? I have just one chocolate pudding
left. It's only pulled away from the side of the dish
about three inches all the way around. And there's a
huge fault running through the center of the pudding.
Actually, it's nothing but a ball of skin at this
point. Does anyone want a ball of fault ridden
chocolate pudding skin? I'm only going to throw it
Do people do that with you? Offer you some food that if
you don't eat it, they're only going to throw it away.
Well, doesn't that make you feel dandy? "Here's
something to eat, Dave. Hurry up, it's spoiling!"
"Something for you, Angela. Eat quickly, that green
part is moving!" "Here, Bob. Eat this before I give it
to an animal." Y'ever been looking through the
refrigerator and you come across an empty plate? Boy,
that starts me to wondering. Did something eat
something else? Maybe the olives ate the tuna! Maybe
that chicken isn't really dead yet. Actually, I picture
a little mouse with gloves and a parka on, y'know. Just
waiting for the lights to go out.
Perhaps the worst thing that can happen is to reach
into the refrigerator and come out with something that
you cannot identify at all. You literally do not know
what it is. Could be meat, could be cake. Usually, at a
time like that, I'll bluff. "Honey, is this good?"
"Well, what is it?" "I don't know. I've never seen
anything like it. It looks like...meatcake!" "Well,
smell it." (snort, sniff) "It has absolutely no smell
whatsoever!" "It's good! Put it back! Somebody is
saving it. It'll turn up in something." Thats what
frightens me. That someone will consider it a challenge
and use it just because it's in there.
It's a leftover. What a sad word that is. Leftover. How
would you like to be...a leftover? Well, it wouldn't be
bad if they were taking people out to be shot. I might
even volunteer. But, y'know, leftovers make you feel
good twice. D'ja ever think about that? When you first
put them away, you feel really intelligent- "I'm saving
food!" And then, after a month, when hair is growing
out of them and you throw them away you feel...really
intelligent- "I'm saving my life!"
When you make a sandwich at home, do you reach down
past the first three or four pieces of bread to go down
and get 'the good bread'? It's kind of a self
preservation thing, y'know? What you're really saying
is, "Let my family eat the rotten bread! I'll take care
of Numero Uno!" And down you go into the loaf. Down,
looking for the two that you want, a matching pair. And
you have to be careful pulling them out so they don't
tear. And then when you get them to the top, the upper
eight slices fall the other way. I never straighten
them out. I think, screw it, let 'em think a burglar
made a sandwich. Not my job, straightening out the
Gotta tell me. In the refrigerator, who is it, please
that puts into the refrigerator the half-gallon
containers of milk with only that much left in them? I
get one of those every time. Hey, here's some milk-
fooom! ...God, not enough to drink. Better put that
back, huh? I know my responsibilities.
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