Monday, March 23, 2009

Expiration Dates, or: Why It's Better to Live Alone

A 2 AM knock knock knock on the door cuts through the Twilight Singers. I groan, grunt, grudgingly put on some pants, and open the door. It's my landlord/roommate, holding what appears to be a box of Jello from the early 19th century. My glance tries to identify a flavor of it, and I honestly assume it will have some bizarre Wild West-era flavor, like Sarsaparilla or Varmint or Chewing Tobacco.

"Hey Andrew," he says, somehow still convinced that I am to be addressed solely by the name found on my rent check. "I was wondering how you feel about Jello."

"What, like, politically?" Too late for jokes.

"Well, I've got this Jello, and it's a little old, and I'm not a big Jello guy."

"Yeah, you couldn't be more than 130. Maybe 140 after a big meal." Again with the jokes.

"Do you want it?" He offers. He extends his hand and holds out the crumbling cardboard. This Jello is so old that--swear to Prince--the box has begun to yellow like a 3rd grade spelling test. I scan for an expiration date.

"How old is this?" I ask, fearing the answer.

"Oh, I forgot that you're an expiration date guy," he remembers. I think that he's confusing concern with expiration dates for instincts of self-preservation.

"Uh, thanks, but I think I'll pass on the Jello." I finish my polite refusal and he doesn't move, as if anticipating more. "So, no thank you." He doesn't move. His arm is still holding the Jello out to me. I figure I can either have the awkwardness of this situation or I can just take the damn Jello.

"I'll just throw this away in here, then." I close the door slowly enough for him to realize what's going on and quickly enough to prevent any protest. I turn out the light, insert the Jello into a plastic bag, insert that plastic bag into a plastic bag, insert that big into a plastic bag, and wait patiently while the CIA's SuperRadar detects a new strain of bacteria in it that can be used to displace some Nicaraguan dictator.


Amy said...


Caitie said...

tee hee! ahhh, good ol' what's his name. however you spell it. whatever.

Samantha said...

This is a touch of brillance. Love it.

See! I do like your happy stuff too.