Eeeeeeeek,@$%*?&wtf??!! | HumorOutcasts


July 13, 2018


There was a party in my pantry recently, and I was not invited. In hindsight, I should have suspected it from the beginning but my brain just didn’t want to admit it.  I discovered a torn open package of muffin mix on a shelf. Don’t  ask why I thought my husband had some strange accident and didn’t  clean it up. I assumed this was because he frequently does things that make no sense to me, is not exactly famous for cleaning up after himself, and we live in a house with three people. The process of elimination usually fingers our daughter but since we don’t keep cheese sticks in there, she was ruled out. Thus began my brief trip down the river denial.  Roughly two days later I was confronted by irrefutable evidence. I found what we’e definitely NOT chocolate jimmies on my counter. What the F??!! OMG!! EEEEEEWW!!

I felt violated, and rather skeeved out. This was also a personal affront to my housekeeping. I thought these things only happened to “dirty” people, you know, the kind you see on the show “Hoarders”. I was able to get a grip long enough to contact the exterminator. My spouse and daughter were oblivious to my freak out, probably because I was upset enough for all of us. Since this was a weekend I was forced to wait until Monday for the cavalry. That left me with the task of cleaning up the crime scene until then.

It turns out that the pantry is the computer keyboard of our house. We use it every day and don’t  realize how bad it gets until we need to clean it. I began an archaeological dig in my own kitchen, no shovel required. I discovered a “poopageddon” on 2 shelves, a shredded paper bag, 2 chewed on granola bars and a violated pudding cup. (See `What the F??!!` sentence above.)

I pulled out everything we had in that small closet, which, by the way, is really smaller than my linen closet near my bathroom. Somehow I managed to defy the laws of physics and fit a colossal amount of crap in there. I discovered a frightening amount of plastic shopping bags for one thing. I had a daymare about my daughter telling her friends one day ‘They found mom under a huge pile of plastic Shoprite bags, she was crazy!’. Suffice it to say, the heard was thinned.

I’ve heard the term ‘vintage’  applied to wines, pantry items, not so much. If the question ‘Who was president when we bought this?’, strikes you as a legitimate question when you’re sorting through your pantry, grab a trash bag, close your eyes, and heave ho. Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially when you find the idea of throwing out FOOD contrary to every fiber of your being. Remind yourself how expensive a hospital stay can be versus that can in your hand.

The purge spread to the vitamins and medicines we keep and continued to a neighboring microwave cart. I have to admit, I wasn’t  thrilled about how it happened but it was needed and I felt a lot better when it was done.

It turns out, I was wrong about a few things. When the exterminator arrived, he set out some old fashioned mouse traps, nothing with any more technology than I’d  seen on Bugs Bunny. Rodents, it seems, are looking for warmth and moisture. Cleanliness, has nothing to do with it. The little bastards were probably coming in through the garage, whose doors could use new rubber bottoms. I never did find a mousehole either. Thanks, Bugs.


This hunting and crime scene like cleaning continued for about two  or three more long weeks. Then it finally happened. I was out at a gym early one morning and when I got back there it was. The body of the 3 ounce field mouse was on the kitchen counter (dude really – the counter?!) in a Chinese food container, packaged like nuclear waste. My startled husband beat it to death with a shoe once the trap went off. Ding dong the mouse is dead and there was much rejoicing!

Barb Godshalk

Barb Godshalk is a married mommy of a now five-year-old wealth of material and lives with her supportive husband in South Jersey. She also studies martial arts and bakes in the hope of breaking even. Her work had been featured on the In the Powder Room website as well as on Sirius XM's late lamented Lime Radio. Recently, you can find her in the South Jersey Writers' Group anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories.  Her daughter has taken over her house and much of her writing.  The majority of works involve memoir and life lessons pieces with as much humor as readers can tolerate.  

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