I created a new game show today that I'm just itching to pitch to the Television Powers-That-Be. It combines all the giddy purse-searching excitement of "Let's Make a Deal" with the lip-curled disgust of "Hoarders." Until I come up with a better title, I'm calling it, "Holy Shit--What I Never Dreamed to Find in My Kitchen Cupboards."
The basic premise is this: Homeowners receive big bucks for novelties, as well as obscene quantities of ordinary items, stashed away in their kitchen drawers and cabinets. The pilot episode took place this weekend, as I attempted to organize my very own kitchen. Sadly, Bob Barker (yes, I know the original Let's Make a Deal host was Monty Hall but Bob's my man, damn it) was away for yet another eye-lift. Therefore, I was forced to play the roles of both contestant and host.
It went something like this:
Bob (played by me): "So, Sherry, let's play today's first round, shall we? I'll give you $100 right now for every outdated medicine bottle you can find in your kitchen cabinets."
Sherry (scrounging through kitchen cupboards): "Well, Bob, I happen to have seven of those, including a bottle of vitamins expiring in 2001 and a half-finished vial of antibiotics from 2003! No wonder I still have that nagging sinus infection eight years later."
Bob: "Huh. OK then, here's $700 and an extra $100 to help treat that mutant drug-resistant bacteria festering in your body. Let's move on to the next item. Every kitchen drawer contains a spatula or two. I'll give you $50 for each spatula you own. Should make you an easy hundred dollars with that."
Sherry (rummaging for spatulas through three different drawers): "Oh, lookie here! Wonder of all wonders, Bob! It appears I own twelve of them!"
Bob: "Twelve spatulas? Twelve? Um, OK, here's $600 in reward for your apparent obsession with the perfect burger-flipper. Maybe that can help pay for a couple OCD therapy sessions. Let's raise the stakes with this next one; it's a toughie. I'm betting a cool $500 that you don't have a Mexican coin in your silverware drawer."
Sherry: "Oh, you'd lose that bet, Bob. Because right here it is! Funny, considering I've never once used Mexican currency while cooking and I've never even been to Mexico."
Bob: "Hmm. Quite the well-equipped kitchen you have here. So, think you can root around in that silverware drawer of yours and happen upon a child's plastic toy?" (Bob winks confidentially at audience.) "Let's say, a Playskool Weeble?"
Sherry: "Yes, indeedy! Here's one rocking little fireman Weeble, Bob, mixed in with all my mismatched forks and spoons. Still standing upright after all these years, too, even though both my children are grown and gone. Weebles wobble but they don't fall down, you know. Haha."
Bob: "Fascinating. And you did say both your children are grown? And no grandchildren yet? Then surely you have no need for a sippy cup in your house. So, I'm going to offer you $500 if you can manage to produce a sippy cup right here today." (Bob folds his arms smugly.)
Sherry (frowning while tossing dozens of Cleveland Indians and Toledo Mud Hens plastic souvenir cups from shelves): "Oh. I don't think... hmm... could it be, here at the back... Yes! Not only one but two sippy cups! Plus, here's a Sesame Street thermos, minus the top, and oh my gosh, a baby bottle! A baby bottle, Bob, even though my youngest child is a nineteen-year-old college student. Do I get extra prize money for that?"
Bob: "No. You get paid only for the damn sippy cups. Here's your friggin' $1,000. And that, thankfully, concludes today's show."
Sherry: "That's it? But my cupboards are still half-full. I have lots of stuff in here. Lots!" (Sherry peers into cabinets.) "How about beer koozies? Ask me about those, Bob!"
Bob: "No, beer koozies are not on the list."
Sherry (counting while piling beer koozies onto kitchen countertop): "Four, five, six... Maybe just $25 each? Twelve... thirteen... fourteen..."
Even as I knew the game was over, I turned to the counter and studied my pile.
Twenty-three beer koozies.
Hot damn! I totally mastered my own game. My personal hoarding finally paid off. At least in my television dreams.
So, I'm planning a huge celebration party when my game show gets picked up by one of the major TV networks. I'll splurge on lobster and filet mignon and, of course, an open bar. You're all invited.
I do hope plenty of you are beer drinkers. It seems I have a few beer koozies to put to good use.
And I've got you covered if you're a sloppy drunk. You're getting a sippy cup.
I did indeed find all of this in my kitchen cupboards. It's seriously time to clean out the crap in my house. Any hidden treasures you care to share?