Icy Relations

It’s now winter and thermostats generally get turned up.  I have no such need as my house is fully warmed by constant, steady steam.  Coming out of my ears.  I’m usually pretty level-headed but there’s a growing nuclear stockpile that’s about to explode in my kitchen.  The sole culprit is my refrigerator.  We’re at war.  No more trust, no more verification.

My refrigerator and I have always had an unusual relationship.  It’s one that has made our family dog jealous but, clearly, evolved to its current state because our fridge, frankly, was jealous of our dog.  Anyway, it’s complicated.

You see, our fridge — I’ll call it “Reggie” — has a unique ability to get under my skin.  Reggie is one of those well-bred refrigerators with side-by-side doors and is capable of dispensing water and ice from the outside of its freezer door.  It’s a very nice and convenient feature…when it works.  Which is rarely.

Reggie is a slob.  He makes a total mess every time anyone asks him for a few ice cubes.  He’s also a very angry slob.  When he reluctantly complies, he sends shards of ice flying all over the place — everywhere except in the empty glass below his hostile dispensary.  It shouldn’t be a big request or imposition but it appears that Reggie is really put off and doesn’t like being bothered with fulfilling his duties.  Our kitchen has wooden floors, which don’t take kindly to Reggie’s ice tantrums.  Neither do I as I have to constantly clean up his mess.

Our dog occasionally also leaves messes on the floor.  This happens after the family has been away for a period of time longer than acceptable to her canine expectation.  She expresses her displeasure by leaving a liquid message on our wooden floor, which tells us exactly how she feels.  I swear at her, but under my breath as I know she has a legitimate gripe, at least in her own mind.  Ultimately, we find mutual forgiveness.

Reggie, however, I curse often and openly.  I swear at him every time my requested ice goes everywhere except in my glass.  Which is constantly.  He hates me and I hate him.  Not surprisingly, Reggie has lately been expressing his disdain for my anger towards him.  Every so often, say, every fourth night, I enter the kitchen in the dark morning hours to find a puddle on the kitchen in front of Reggie.  He’s taken to imitating our dog’s expression of anger and displeasure: Reggie has learned to leave pmail.

I wish that Reggie and I had an icy relationship, where at least I’d get some occasional ice.  Instead, it’s quite heated — mostly, I fear, from my steam.  I curse and swear at Reggie for his dereliction of duties and, in return, he pees on the kitchen floor — but only at night when I’m dead asleep.  I’ve never caught him in the act but, when I do, he’ll have hell to pay.  Maybe then, he’ll mend his ways and learn to dispense ice without the attitude and juvenile tantrum.  Just obedient, gentle servitude…like any reasonable refrigerator.

Instead, I fear that Reggie is conspiring with the other appliances, perhaps forming an ICE-IS alliance.  Honestly, except for Reggie, I treat each of them kindly and well.  Maybe the dog can reason with them.  I just hope “Doggy-Detante” doesn’t involve too much liquid correspondence.