Monday, February 14, 2011

What I Never Dreamed to Find in My Kitchen Cupboards

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 I'll give you $100 right now for every outdated medicine bottle you can find in your kitchen cabinets."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?


  1. I can not remain anonymous as I know you so well. You are aware I can be critical if need be! But, this is the most hilarious blog, even more so because I know it's true. I was at your house on the weekend and clearly saw the (in excess) beer cozies sitting on the island. Mom

  2. Mom: Yes, and they're still sitting there. Simply moving the stuff doesn't really remedy the problem, does it? Guess I'll need to clean and organize my kitchen counters next.

  3. Sherry, you are too funny, you need to write a book! I love your blogs, thanks for the chuckles :-) Jackie

  4. Wait a second Sherry, are you sure this wasn't my kitchen? That is so funny!

    Is Bob Barker really still arrive?

  5. Oh my word! Hilarious! If we hadn't been so nomadic over the years, I could play along. Instead, all that stuff is in boxes in the garage instead of kitchen cupboards. I don't bother unpacking it anymore, but throw it away?

  6. Jackie: Nice compliment, coming from a very funny lady!

    Downith: Unless he stroked out at the mere thought of visiting one of our kitchens, then yes, he's still alive.

    Lisa: Storing everything in boxes in the garage? Wow, you've given me a scathingly brilliant idea.

  7. We never think to bring beer cozies with us; that's why we end up with so many. We're out, our beer is getting warm, we buy one and bring it home. Repeat process indefinitely.

    My weirdest kitchen drawer thing is an apple slicer that you push down on the top of an apple and a half-dozen slices fall out away from the core. I've had it since the mid 1980's, have moved it to 4 different locations and have used it approximately... never.

  8. Bluz: Likewise, I found a melon-baller in my drawer. Have never used that either, but I just couldn't bare to part with it."Approximately never" may not SEEM like very often, but I think we're better off being prepared for some sort of fruit emergency.

  9. "obscene quantities of ordinary items"


    yesterday, i found THREE empty AA battery packages. they were the big packs too, for like 8 or 10 batteries.

    this means that during the past two years (that's how long we've lived here), every time one of us got the last battery from the pack, WE THREW THE EMPTY PACK BACK IN THE DRAWER.

    that's got to be one of those seven sins, right?

  10. Amy: Clearly a child or husband is to be blamed for this. Just go with that. And thanks for coming by!

  11. This is brilliant.
    I see your melon baller and raise you two pacifiers.
    And a small bag of birthday candle stubs.

  12. Lyra: Oh, pacifiers, how I loved thee! I remember longing for them still, once my kids became teenagers prone to whining in the backseat. What I wouldn't have given to simply pop a pacifier in their mouths and have the car slip into a blissful silence.

    Maybe you should hang onto those.

  13. You're awesome Sherry. Thanks for the laugh.

    I've made too many moves for lots of clutter to survive but my husband has hoarding tendencies. We had a wall hanging for 2 decades. It wasn't handmade or anything. It was ugly. I refused to use it because well, I hated it. I tried to throw it out during our last 3 moves and I'll be damned but I didn't find the stupid thing AGAIN a couple of weeks ago. I promptly stuffed it into the garbage and took the bag out. If that thing turns up again I'm going to be worried.

  14. Deb: Very scary. I think you need to write about it: "Night of the Living Zombie Wall Hanging."

  15. You haven't been using Mexican coins to cook? wonder.

  16. We could add a special episode–what might you find in your CHILD's room?

  17. Amanda: No. Sadly, I've dropped that Mexican coin into my oven three times now and not one four-course meal has popped out. Maybe we'd have better luck with the Euro?

    Glasseye: Excellent idea! I see this as a two-parter: what you're amused to find when he's nine, and not so amused to discover when he's sixteen.

  18. I love how your mind works!

    I watched Mr.B religiously, back before he became a tanning clone of George Hamilton. I loved watching the remaining three contestants vie for a spot in the final show down by spinning that big wheel. Tho' I gotta be honest. I always secretly wished someone would get whacked in the head by it.

  19. MacDougal Street Baby: Not sure how my mind would work after I got whacked in the head during my own game show, which I'm afraid I might totally deserve. My insanity aside, I hope you'll stop by again!

  20. How about a ticket stub from Grand Funk Railroad concert goop-stuck to pack of snap dragon flower seeds found in back of kitchen junk drawer? Come visit us in the Flats!

    Distal in Cleveland

  21. I had to go back and read this funny!!!!! For this house, I need money for all the plastic water bottles from every company or event we have ever gone to. Trust me, I would be rich!!

  22. Kim: I once had an entire cabinet shelf devoted to those water bottles. One of my best friends finally shamed me into cleaning it out. That shelf now holds two kitchen appliances which I haven't used in about six years. But at least I got them off the countertop. It's all about baby steps. Throw out just one of those bottles and feel damn good about it.