'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE MOST DANGEROUS THING IN AMERICA
Every time you turn around nowadays, a politician—prompted by some activist group, no doubt—proposes legislation to outlaw something which is considered “dangerous” to people’s health. Some of these dangerous things include certain behaviors, such as:
Other dangerous things in the process of being outlawed are certain products the various activist groups don’t like:
I can think of a few things I’d like to see outlawed. Politicians and activist groups come to mind.
There is one thing, however, that is truly dangerous, and frankly I cannot believe it remains legal. If ever there were an appropriate reason for an activist group to prompt a politician to propose emergency legislation, this is it. I speak, of course, about that well-known scourge of modern life: the office refrigerator.
Almost every office in America has a refrigerator. At first, it was a good idea, a convenient place to keep milk for the coffee maker and where employees could store the lunches they brought from home. But in practice the office refrigerator has become a disaster. Now almost every office in America would be no safer if it had instead a festering toxic waste dump in the middle of the room—because that is exactly what most office refrigerators have become.
Let’s face it, the problem with office refrigerators is a lack of personal responsibility. No one is officially in charge of it, so no one is going to lift a finger to clean it. Especially since Bob in Accounting had a hissy-fit six years ago when Darlene the Receptionist threw out his pea soup and cottage cheese casserole, thinking she was on the verge of becoming the first victim in the opening scene of a horror movie. How was she to know what appeared to be a pulsating green blob with a mind of its own was actually a traditional family recipe?
Since all employees are either too apathetic or too afraid to clean the refrigerator, it has become, as my mom used to say when I wore the same sweat socks to basketball practice in high school nine days in a row, a “tad bid gamey.” In some offices, employees must don respirators before quickly opening the door, grabbing the carton of milk for the morning coffee, and then slamming the door shut. Then, after breathing a sigh of relief and removing the respirator, the employee cringes when a chunk of what looks like Bob’s pea soup and cottage cheese casserole slides out of the milk carton and plops into the coffee mug.
The only positive thing about office refrigerators is when your eighth grade child informs you on Thursday he needs to turn in a biology experiment by Friday. You can just grab anything out of the office fridge and your child is sure to get an “A.”
Personally, I’m stunned these dangerous things are still legal. I find it much safer to spend my lunch hour in the parking lot, sitting in my car eating doughnuts wrapped in bacon and listening to Barry Manilow CDs. But don’t worry, I know enough not to text-message while in my car.
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