Pantry cleanup is massive undertaking

I think I’ve lost my wife.

Well, I didn’t lose her — she lost herself, so it’s not what you think. I didn’t set her down somewhere and, like I do with my glasses, forget where I set her.

That happens a lot. I’ll be upstairs, and I’ll set my glasses down because I really only need to wear them when I’m reading. Then, when I get downstairs and need my glasses to read about how the St. Louis Cardinals came back from ahead to blow another game, I won’t remember where I put them.

My glasses, not the Cardinals.

Then I’ll remember that I had my glasses when I was upstairs, so I’ll go upstairs to get them. Of course, when I get there, I’ll forget what I came upstairs for, so I’ll go back downstairs and start to read the sports page again and realize that I need my glasses.

But I didn’t lose my wife the way I lose my glasses. I lost my wife because she decided, against my advice, to attempt to clean out our kitchen pantry.

Wife: I think I’ll attempt to clean out our kitchen pantry.


Then I’ll try to throw myself in front of her to keep her from entering the pantry, only to remember that the act of throwing myself anywhere would result in a trip to the emergency room. So instead I say, “Don’t get lost,” and go upstairs to work on a column about losing my wife in our kitchen pantry.

Sort of answers the question, “Mike, where do you get your column ideas?” — doesn’t it?

Normally, when we clean out our kitchen pantry, it’s a carefully planned attempt.

Me: OK, I’m going in. Read me the checklist.

Wife: Flashlight?

Me: Check.

Wife: Rope?

Me: Check.

Wife: Machete?

Me: Check.

Our kitchen pantry gets a bit out of control is what I’m saying.

The problem is that when it comes to kitchen pantry items, we tend to over-shop. And when I say “we,” I of course mean my wife.

See, my wife thinks we need to have two of everything in our kitchen pantry. That way, my wife says, we won’t run out of anything. The only problem is my wife will buy something thinking we only have one of them when in fact we have five to them, so when she gets home, we now have six of them.

After a while, this adds up.

This morning, for example, my wife discovered that we had 10 packages of croutons.

“Well, Mike,” some of you are thinking, “do you need 10 packages of croutons?”

To some of you thinking that, the answer is, “No. No we don’t.”

My wife also finds items in our pantry that are out of date.

“How old is this barbecue sauce?” my wife will ask.

“What’s the date on it?” I’ll ask.

“I don’t know. I think it was a wedding gift,” my wife will say.

“Then it’s old,” I will say.

The problem now is that I haven’t heard from my wife in about an hour. Normally, I don’t mind not hearing from my wife for about an hour, but when she’s trying to clean out our kitchen pantry, I tend to worry.

Leaving my wife alone in our kitchen pantry is like leaving  Trump alone with  Putin. You never know what’s going to happen; you just know that it won’t be good.

Hang on a minute while I go downstairs and check on my wife.

OK, I’m back. I found my wife. She’s fine. She’s just trapped under 12 boxes of macaroni and cheese and 15 cake mixes.

I was going to dig her out, but I need to find my glasses first.

Wait, why did I come up here?