Friday, August 5, 2011

How to Make a Mess

So, anyone can make a mess. But there's something about making a mess in a kitchen that requires a man's touch. Stories about exploding skillets or icing on the ceiling or what happens when you don't have a good grip on the stick blender. And today I'm able to contribute a point-by-point case study.

First, open up the fridge and take out the tupperware container filled with peanut soup.

Make sure you grasp the container so that when the lid suddenly comes off you have a firm grasp on the lid.

When the rest of the container, holding all the soup, surrenders itself to gravity, consider how lucky you are that it lands face up.

That's when another law of physics kicks in, actions and reactions. Or, as what they taught us in eight-grade science would have put it, the potential energy collected by the soup as it fell is converted to kinetic energy once it lands. The container itself no longer being in motion, the soul leaves it and explodes upwards, just like in those line-lapse photos of a raindrop hitting water.

This experiment works best if you use a thick, viscous soup. Even better if it's something that wd stain (say, with a lot of tomato in it). Luckily peanut soup fills the bill on both accounts.

Now, the experiment having run its course, start the clean up. The walls come first, since you want to get that off before it stains. Then the part you can see, splattered on the refrigerator shelves and all the nooks inside the door (since you had the door open in order to take out the soup in the first place). Then tackle all the surfaces you can't see: since it splashed from below, the bottoms of all those shelves in the door (e.g., the one holding the eggs, &c) have each their decorations.

Finally, take care of the pool on the floor.

Then go back and check again; you'll be surprised how many spots you missed on the first go around. Rest assured that in any case you'll be finding random spots of peanut soup hidden here and there for months.

Last of all, warm up what's left of the soup. Enjoy; you might not be getting peanut soup again for a while.

--John R.

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