Condiments of Wrath


The Hendersons had a new refrigerator. It was clean on the outside and even cleaner on the inside, with shiny plastic, nifty trays. They were very proud of their perfect appliance and immediately filled it with all kinds of vegetables and meats. The Hendersons were so happy with the way the refrigerator was working that they ran right out to buy some more things to put into it. They returned quite a while later and were delighted to find that everything was still running smoothly. The walls of the refrigerator were still gleamed and the air inside was still crisp and cool. So they put in the condiments they'd bought and closed the door.
Ketchup was the first to speak, "Where are we?" he asked. Relish gazed in awe at the pristine new surroundings, "I don't know..." she replied. "It's beautiful," said Mustard softly. The three condiments took in everything from the bright light that shone high above them to the white plastic than shone beneath them. Something in the distance caught Relish's eye. "Look!" she said, pointing. The shelf the condiments were standing on dropped off sharply and on the rack beneath them there was a small mound of brightly colored objects. "What are they?" asked Mustard. "Let's go see!" proposed Ketchup boldly as he carefully climbed down to the bottom rack, followed closely by Mustard and Relish. They stood a safe distance from the objects watching to see what the mysterious things would do. The objects remained doing what they had been: nothing. Ketchup finally stated, "I don't think they can speak." The condiments decided to call the new objects "meat" for lack of a better word. The trio cautiously approached the meat and performed various tests including poking, pinching, and yelling before coming to the conclusion that the meat was safe to eat. They were all hungry and ate for quite some time before going off to explore some more. Not too far away, the condiments came upon vast expanses of vegetables. After eating a few carrots they wondered what to do with the rest of the vegetables. Relish had the idea of building a roof over their home shelf to keep the light out. Ketchup and Mustard loved the idea and so they hauled some leaves back to their home. They were almost done building the roof when an amazing thing happened. One whole half of the refrigerator disappeared. A hand holding three bottles reached in, put the bottles on the shelf and the refrigerator returned to whole again. This rightly startled the condiments, but not for long since there were so many things to be done. "Hello!" cried one of the new bottles. "So they're condiments after all," thought Ketchup. The new condiments climbed quickly up to the rack and introduced themselves. "I'm Mayonnaise," said the first bottle. "Caesar Dressing," said the second. "And Artificial Butter," said the third. "Nice place you've got here," said Mayonnaise politely, but the new condimnets didn't ooh and ah as the first condiments had. The refrigerator wasn't nearly as impressive with the meat wrappers lying about and the vegetables gnawed on.
The little rack was getting quite complicated. The condiments had managed to build a machine to squeeze fruits and collect the juice. It was very handy but left lots of unused pulp that nobody wanted. "No problem," said Ketchup, "We'll just dump it over the side." Mustard complained that it would make the bottom shelf messy and proposed that they should try to re-use the pulp instead. Most of the condiments liked his idea but said it would take too long and be too hard. So the far left corner of the refrigerator was subjected to the constant dumping from above.
Soon, the refrigerator opened again. The condiments noticed it but were more interested in the arrival of Spaghetti Sauce, Ranch and Italian dressings, Honey, and Tabasco. The condiments weren't too shocked to find that they all wouldn't fit on the home shelf, so the new condiments stayed on the bottom rack. There wasn't too much room down there either, though, and Ketchup said they should simply destroy some of the vegetables to make room for them. "After all, there's plenty of them and you need somewhere to sleep." This prompted an outburst from both Mustard and Butter who claimed the vegetables were too important to harm in any way. But since the new condiments had nowhere else to go, the vegetables went instead.
Some of the condiments noticed how few meats there were now. With so many condiments to feed, the giant array of meats had gotten significantly smaller. In fact no one had seen any turkey or salami recently and Caesar Dressing was said to have eaten the last of the pastrami. Only mustard was disturbed since Ketchup pointed out that there were plenty of meats left anyway.
During the night, Soy Sauce, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Whipped Cream, Coleslaw and Sauerkraut arrived. The bottom rack was as crowded as the home one and the condiments opted to destroy more vegetables to make more room. No one minded, really, except that now the refrigerator was getting very dirty. The waste from the meat was greasy, the back of the refrigerator was dyed a sickly orange from the pulp dumping, vegetable debris was piling up and dirt was ubiquitous. The air wasn't as crisp and cold anymore since the breathing of so many condiments had affected it. There were very few edible vegetables left since so many had been destroyed. Finally, even Ketchup began to notice and they all decided to do something. "We need to start conserving certain meats and fruits," explained Mustard, "before they vanish like the others." The others went along with the idea and were very proud of themselves for helping out. Now tomatoes, cabbage and sausage were off limits. Everyone was relatively content despite the fetid circumstances.
Then the refrigerator itself began to break down. The light flickered on and off and the temperature controls were falling apart. The temperature ranged wildly from almost freezing to almost broiling. Ketchup managed to calm the general mayhem by explaining that these were freak occurrences, but Mustard shouted loudly about how they had been destroying the refrigerator from the beginning. Soon all the condiments were screaming and yelling, each with its own opinion. The noise got and louder and more furious until it suddenly came to a crashing halt. The refrigerator had stopped its constant whirring and the light had gone abruptly out, startling everyone into silence. The seconds ticked away while there, in utter darkness, all the condiments wondered to themselves. "What will we do now?" finally came the weak voice of Soy Sauce.
The silence was stifling for the next few moments until Mustard finally answered, "What we should have done long ago." And for once, Ketchup could not agree more.