On things under the fridge

Have you ever noticed that if you drop something on the floor anywhere near the fridge, it scoots under the fridge as if drawn by mysterious forces of malevolent magnetism? I have dropped bottle caps, coins, walnuts, cranberries, clothes pins, pens, bottle opener, batteries, a spoon, half box of spaghetti, and a partridge in a pear tree. At first, you completely deny that the lost object has gone under the fridge and you look for it elsewhere. Once you are willing to recognize the inevitable, you start to get down on your hands and knees to analyze the exact nature of your problem. If you are lucky, the thing under the fridge will be right there within reach, but this only happens with cherry pits and old political campaign buttons. Your keys are probably under the middle of the fridge, or maybe even toward the back and there is absolutely no chance of sticking the yardstick under there and fishing them out. You look for a flashlight because that will help you figure out that you now must move the fridge if you want your driver’s license back during this century. Even with a yardstick and flashlight, however, you still can’t make out anything very clearly–lots of pipes and wires hanging from the bottom of the fridge that run interference for the missing objects–and the weird bottom-of-the-fridge fuzz doesn’t help at all. Even if you get your wallet back, it will be covered in weird gray fuzz, hair, dirt, and a mouse skeleton. Marbles and pennies will always find their way under the fridge, as will small toy cars, random earrings, the extra key to the cabin, Legos, the cat’s toys, broken glass, and the gas bill. Somethings that go missing under the fridge are gone for years, and so by the time you find them, you have already assimilated their loss and don’t know what to do with your long lost engagement ring, which you thought you lost in Yellowstone National Park. Moving the fridge is, of course, in the end, the only way to solve the problem of retrieving the kid’s teething ring, The second that you propose such an operation, everyone who could help suddenly has something important to do such as take a nap. Moving the fridge does pose a moral dilemma because you will always find lots of stuff that you never even suspected was lost. What’s worse is finding other people’s stuff, the dead bodies of every insect that ever crawled under there, or gobs of unidentifiable goo. Finding goo is bad enough, but cleaning up goo is worse. The things under the fridge are a tribute to our laziness and our clumsiness. I have frequently given up things that have dropped under the fridge because I won’t move the fridge and I really don’t want to know what is under there at any given time. Finding a half-eaten mouse under the fridge is gross, but wondering what ate the mouse is worse. Finding a sock under the fridge is bad, but not recognizing it is worse. Wondering how a wrench you don’t own got under the fridge is bad, but adding it to your tool collection is wonderful. I dropped a pen on the floor this afternoon and cap shot under the fridge. I’m still wondering what I should do to get it back.