If I were to place bets, I'm not the kind of person to go for the long shot. Not the obscure potentiality with the big payoff. I'm more the type who would go for slim margins with higher chances of winning. I like to win, but I also like to keep my money.
So I would never have bet that in two years, two separate children would manage to shut down the refrigerator two very different ways. Resulting in two problems- big stink and big mess.
A couple summers ago, we were all off to visit the in-law Grandparents in New Mexico. We (I) decided that since we had a full week we should not impose our rowdy selves on the elderly for all that time. Most conscientiously of me, I thought it would be nice to go someplace fun first. Like Albuquerque. In July. Regardless, the preparation and actual "vacation" were exhausting. The sort of "vacation" that boiled down to a shit ton more work for me plus all the usual stuff, just in a different location.
Prior to leaving, after weeks of work and preparation, we were shoring up the house. You know, locking all the windows, taking out the trash. I asked Genea to unplug the toaster. Why? Because my parents always unplugged the toaster. Why did they do it? I believe it goes back to the days when a single toaster could set a house ablaze. Although it seems to me electronic pluggie things have come a long way and it's actually pretty rare that a house goes up in flames over a modern UL listed appliance.
At any rate, Genea did what she was asked to do. Unfortunately, the toaster and the fridge share the same plug hole. Not knowing which was which, she pulled both plugs out.
Coming home after an 8 day vacation in JULY, entering the house was akin to an assault. The hairs in my nose quivered and tried to escape. I thought we must have left some trash around. The cats were boarded so we knew it wasn't them. Walking through the house, nostrils constricting and trying to cauterize themselves, the stench got stronger. Once in the kitchen though, where it was strongest, I couldn't locate the source. Logically, I grabbed some air spray and unloaded the can. Now it smelled like aerosol stuff and canned fruit. And funk.
We all crashed hard. The next morning, the stink still stank. Opened windows, put on fans and the funk remained. I went into the fridge for something and..... sweet mother of Xanax.... what the-... omg.
The atrocious smell is something I'll never forget. The fridge was bad, so bad. But the freezer? That's where nightmares are born. Lets just say I had no idea that meat could reproduce.
Weeks of cleaning, scrubbing, de-funk-ifying knocked it back but didn't kill it. It was a few months before one could breathe freely in the same room.
But, ya' know, these things happen. It was a lengthy ordeal requiring lots of carcinogenic chemicals to clean up. But after all, I could have left the freaking toaster alone or unplugged it myself. Of all things honestly, Genea will rarely mess with a food source and I know it was an accident.
Forwarding about 2 years, I noticed the other day that the freezer food had become mushy. Knowing our fridge can be finicky (it came with the house which was built in 1980), I reset the control at a higher number and went about my business. Later, Genea mentioned she thought it stank. I sort of ignored it, knowing I had a few packets of foil with mysterious contents in there. I was feeling sick that day and Teena was home from school and so we had drive through for dinner and I never went in the fridge again until the next day.
WHOOSH! The stench of Satan's bowels slapped me in the face and I recoiled. But..... how had this happened again? The coffin of evil was plugged in and I had just reset the freezer so.....
What's that? I squint and try to get close without causing olfactory damage. ARGH! Someone had turned the dial off in the fridge! WHY?
I knew there was one person likely to have done it. That person wasn't me. That person loves little things that twist and turn and thinks the universe was created solely for her exploration. Sigh.
Sure enough, Teena came home from school and immediately confessed. Not a care or worry in the world just- yes, she had turned the dial. But nothing happened! So it was ok! Besides, I'd never told her NOT to turn that dial!
ARGH. Maybe all the neurotoxic chemicals I used last time to clean it out had affected her brain because that was the lamest excuse I'd ever heard from her. I prefer, if my kids are going to lie or try to outsmart me, that they put some effort into it. No go. However, when she realized the magnitude of what she had done (melted her ice cream) she commenced to freaking out, twerking through the living room, writhing in grief for her loss. So sad. Really. Ahem.