Dodgy Dinners

09/Jan/2001

So yesterday I did something really bloody stupid, which is not entirely uncharacteristic of me. I arrived at work half asleep, being Monday and all. I went to put my lunch in the fridge, and what a pathetic lunch it was. Our pantry had hit rock bottom so all I had were a few half-stale crispbread and a suspect looking piece of cheese. On opening the fridge, I was hit with that usual WHOOSH wave-of-stink that comes when a dozen people shove random things in there and forget about them for months on end.

But I am actually one of the worst offenders. When I opened the fridge I saw one of those frosty-coloured tupperware containers and realised it was my potato salad from the Monday before. I'd opened it up at the time and thought, "Blah, salad. I want a cheese and bacon roll from Bakers Delight" then promptly threw it back into the fridge. A week later, it didn't appear to be too healthy. From what I could tell without opening the container, it was all pink and green from various mouldy things. So I threw the container into the bottom of the bin and covered it with a pile of old Canberra Times.

Then it's lunchtime, and a colleague of mine goes up to the fridge to get her lunch out. There's the sound of much shuffling and rearranging of things then "Who stole my lunch?!"

"What!?" we all said. "Noone would steal your lunch."

"I TELL YOU, it's not in there!"

This woman is a particularly stern kind of lady and within minutes she was charging around like the Spanish Inquisition, grilling everyone to find the supposed Lunch Thief.

So I went up to the fridge to look for it myself. Our fridge is only one of those crappy little bar ones, but we manage to pack a lot in there. I sat on the floor and started pulling things out of it. Sandwiches, wine bottles, a tub of margarine that was there when I started over a year ago, pieces of fruit slowly turning green, three jars of salsa.

Finally there was only one thing left. One of those frosty-coloured tupperware containers. It had my mouldy old salad in it.

"I can't understand how it just could have DISAPPEARED!" ranted my colleague.

But I could understand, it's quite easy for your lunch to disappear when some moron throws it into the bin.

I could have explained what I did to this woman and offered to buy her some lunch and perhaps she could have forgiven me in a few months time. But that would be okay for someone not quite so gutless. I fished the container out of the bin, wiped off a few headlines smeared on it from the newspaper, then put it back into the fridge.

"Hey, I found your lunch!"

She charged over. "Where? Where?"

"Erm… it was right here. Under this stuff. See?"

"I swear I looked there!"

"Well, there it is. So… here you go."

"Hmmph! It's not very cold!"

"Well. You know those bar fridges. They don't work that well."

In my usual guilt-ridden Make Mountains Out Of Molehills way, I tossed and turned about this all night. What if she drops dead of food poisoning? What if she works out what happened?

"Yeah," said my sister, "I am sure she'd think to herself, Hey maybe some idiot threw my lunch in the bin and covered it with newspapers then stealthily returned it to the fridge hours later!' Not likely."

The woman in question appears to be in good health today.