Got Maggots?

So once upon a time, we were in a rental.  This rental just happened to fall into a time in our lives where it was an in between residence, and as such we were not very happy to be there.  Longing to be inside our new home - we just sold our condo, and also just had a baby *two months old at this time* - we really didn't want to be living half out of boxes.  Alas, there comes a time in every one's lives where you reach an unavoidable dilemma.  You either fall into a pile of shell-less pieces on the floor, or deal with life and roll with the punches.  There happens to be a super market down the road, and I'm distractingly excited that it's in such close proximity to the new place.  Happily, I pack up little infant in the Bjorn (this was back when big kid was little infant) and head to the store for some grocery shopping.  I don't know about you, but I sort of get excited about packing a new fridge.  All that fresh food and the clean shelves...  You can almost smell that *crisp* refrigerator air right now!

Well, this was far from the experience that I encountered upon opening the fridge (groceries unpacked on the shelf.)  I open the fridge to load up all the perishables...  When what to my wondering eyes should appear??  Not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but six mid sized shelves and 50 thousand maggots dead and blowing out every cooling fan vent in the fridge.  Shock takes over, and I'm standing still in front of this mortifying dead maggot infestation.  I'm not sure what takes the cake for the grossest?  The fact that it's filled with dead maggots spewing out the blow holes of the fridge? Or that I could have opened it to find live ones crawling all over the place.  I actually think the latter would have been far more appalling.  With a look on my face like I just ate a bowl of rotten cherries... I head screaming over to the husband.  "Holy crap, you HAVE to look at the fridge!  I refuse to put anything in there, and suggest that you get a friend and pick up your mini college fridge so we can use something for food."  Ice cream is now melting on the counter.  Cheese is starting to resemble a Dali painting, and I can hear the milk curdling. WHAT'S NEXT, LOCUSTS?!  He then admitted that in the construction of this townhouse remodeling project, the developer had placed a container of Chinese take out rice in this *brand spanking new* fridge. As with all construction projects, the power went off multiple times throughout the several months that the construction ensued (with the testing of the electrical, etc.)  During this time, the food rotted, decayed and maggots infested the fridge. When the power went back on, the maggot army finally froze to death. YAY!!  Death to maggots!!

Maybe he was just complacent with the whole scenario in light of the larger priority move, but it was bothersome that the husband was trying to convince me we just needed to wipe down the fridge a little and it would be clean as a whistle.   I didn't care if a postmortem cleaning service had done the best crime scene work of their career in there, I was never going to trust this fridge again to host any food for me or my baby for that matter!  So, after much deliberation - and whiny screaming on my part - the husband dutifully went out on a quest for our mini fridge.  For the record, the husband put his beer in that nasty fridge, but nothing else.  I, on the other hand, waited impatiently for the older and smaller mini fridge.  I did advise the developer of this repugnant situation with vomitous horror portraying in my tone.  He voluntarily came over himself and cleaned out the fridge to what he suggested was, "clean enough that I would eat out of it myself."  Well sir, if this was clean enough to eat out of, then you must prefer dead maggot stew weekly in your food repertoire.  In opposition, I generally stick to food inspected and passed by the FDA as consumable by human beings.  But I digress... Over the course of the next few days I noticed more dead maggots collecting on the barren shelves.  Which led me to investigate even further into the side panels of the fridge (with two pairs of elbow length gloves by the way, a ski mask, and medical nose and mouth mask.)  I was dressed like I was part of the Chernobyl nuclear waste spill clean up crew.   Just as I had suspected, filled in the interior side trim (and lord knows where else) there were maggots packed so firmly in the plastic hardware they looked like they were the maggot frosting smeared inside the fridge cake. Ah-HA! This is why the mysterious maggot blow holes were spraying dead maggots through the cooling fan areas of the fridge!

Not surprisingly about a week after this discovery, the whole fridge stopped working.  Electricity and power were checked, outlets, etc.  No problem with the house... It's decided that there is something wrong with the fridge.  Since it was only a 6 month old fridge we called in on the manufacturer warranty repair service.  (I made the developer assume the cost of any repairs).  The repair man was in as much shock and disgust as I was when we first opened the fridge and upon opening the circuit panel to check the mother board of the unit.   It was completely caked in dead maggots. They had worked their little filthy worm bodies all the way up into the motherboard and shorted out the whole system.  The poor guy asked to borrow my gloves, and at one point actually stepped outside to scrape the macabre larvae off the hardware - whilst holding back his body from the thrusts of dry heaving.  He claimed the fridge was not fixable, and so we had to live out of the mini fridge during the duration of our stay in the rental.  We only spent seven months at that townhouse anyway, so we just chalked this up to yet another disappointing element of the whole experience.  Living out of the mini fridge week by week made me kind of proud, as it was a shining example of my ability to embrace the European food shopping style.  That's one thing to take away from it... I guess.

Years have passed since that maggot fridge episode, but none-the-less that visual will forever be burned in my brain as one of the most disgusting memories I have ever encountered.   Let this be a lesson to all you people out there holding faith in your fridge to keep food alive forever "just because it's cold."  It won't, power does goes out, and you will be left with a maggot fridge that shorts out the motherboard from your lack of attention to detail or common sense.   If you find yourself in this scenario, you should be ashamed of yourself. On the upside, I have some lollipops you might find delicious and interesting while you are cleaning out your fridge.