Sunday, January 10, 2010

Magnificent ice formations, the Apocalypse, and the God of Small Things

Prior to marrying the Goat, I lived in a one-bedroom brownstone. The tiny refrigerator had an even tinier freezer, which was not frost free. For everyone out there under the age of 72, that means you had to defrost your freezer once in a while. The ice on the walls of my little freezer would get so thick that the only thing you could put in there was half of a banana twinpop, at which point a dubious process including your humble hostess, a blow dryer, and claw hammer ensued. Not pretty, people.

When we married, our fridge was a used model gifted to us by my Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Nick. It was an Amana, a fine FROST FREE side-by-side box. It did not have an ice maker, but considering I never had to defrost it, that detail was hardly worth mentioning.

Unlike the sun and sea, the Amana did not last forever, and one day the Goat and I were obliged to buy another. As I inspected the new freezers, the amount of space taken up by the ice maker seemed ridiculous. An ice water dispenser in the door? Who needed some dumb shit like that?

Hence, we make our ice here the old-fahioned way: we use trays. We have been doing so for 17 years without incident--up until a few days ago when I pulled an ice tray from the box and found this:


I immediately got my camera to record the event, then invited my husband and daughter to view it before dislodging the cubes and destroying the impromptu sculpture.

"It looks like a model of the Space Shuttle," I said.

There were two smaller formations in the other tray that defied my poor photographic skills, one of which was like an upside down crystalline teardrop. We marveled over the oddity for a few minutes, then I unceremoniously twisted the trays into the ice bin and refilled them.

A few days later, there was yet another mysterious formation in our ice cube tray. This one had a satisfying phallic shape:


Again, I photographed the event and rounded up the troops as witnesses. Two more uneventful days go by, but when I opened the freezer last night, there was another little ice erection, proudly striving for the chocolate chip waffles. (Yes, I took a photo of it. No, I am not posting it. Two ice cube photos is more than enough for any one blog entry.)

Perhaps the strange ice formations are harbingers of the Apocalypse, in which case it's too bad I can't sell them on eBay. Instead, I prefer to imagine this is a profound earth event, that the domesticated water in my ice cube trays is saluting the grand columns that grace the edges of our domicile.


My ears are on, oh God of Small Things. I'm receiving your broadcast loud and clear.

Yours truly,

Erin


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30 comments:

Bill said...

very cool post e. i love the way your mind works

Amy L. Hanna said...

Goat looks devilishly red against that icy backdrop.

Erin O'Brien said...

Maybe he's about to do something embarrassing.

Mystern said...

As an employee of eBay (actually reading this post at an eBay office in SLC in fact), I'd be willing to say that you could indeed sell the harbingers of the Four Horsemen on eBay. Though I don't know how much you'd actually get from them ;)

LimesNow said...

This made me run to my freezer to see if anything enticing had formed and awaited me . . . alas.

Erin, I believe a consensus decision was once reached on this very blog. Size matters.

Big Mark 243 said...

I think that it is more auto-erotic than a sign of anything biblical... but if you hold that tome the right way, there is as much titilation as any two-bit Harlequin romance...

Erin O'Brien said...

People, there is a brand new ice thinger in there again today.

This means something. I swear it means something!

Tag said...

Refrigerator stalactites?

Once Known as The Badger said...

If only you had seen The Jesus in your ice tray. This would have gone viral in no time, and you'd have hordes of pilgrims at your door. You were lucky this time...

WV -- beatio, Italian slang for beatitude, the Beat equivalent of gratitude. Thanks man, I needed that.

Kirk Jusko said...

Here's what happened: a horny fly landed on your ice tray right before you closed the freezer door.

DogsDontPurr said...

We've had a couple of those ice dealies too. How does that happen?! Mind boggling!

And speaking of defrosting: back in the day, I had a 1950's Cold Spot fridge. It lasted me about 15 years amazingly. You couldn't keep a pint of ice cream frozen in that thing, but boy, could it produce the thickest layer of ice between defrostings. To defrost, I would boil a pot of water on my hotplate, then dunk a butter knife in the water and slowly saw through chunks of the ice. Yes, I know, using a knife in one of those old freezers was a big no no, but if you're verrrrrry careful...

I actually sort of miss that old fridge. Towards the end, I replaced the lightbulb in it with a red darkroom bulb. It gave it a spooky haunted house feel to open it at night and have a deep red glow bathe the kitchen.

Vince said...

I suspect it means that you should buy a new one soonest. If the roof of the thing is defrosting enough to produce stalagmites then whatever meat or anything else you have sitting in the thing is defrosting and then refreezing also.
It sounds like you have some sort of issue with the motor not cutting in or that the thermostat is royally ucked.

philbilly said...

So a couple a decades ago, I'm walking through the kitchen and see one of my roommates approaching the freezer ice farm with a hammer and screwdriver.

"That's a real bad idea, man" says I, to which he says,"I got this, man."

We got a new used fridge on
East 55th street for $75 bucks.

Don't ask how I knew it was a bad idea.

DogsDontPurr said...

Re Vince: I don't think she needs a new fridge. I think this is actually an odd ice cube tray phenomenon. I've seen this happen even in brand new fridges.

I think it's somehow related to the microwaved~cup~of~water~exploding because its center got too hot type of scientific theory. Or something like that. (I was going to use more "~ ~ ~" characters in that sentence, but then I got tired.)

ahclem said...

Now I'm looking forward to the Roland Emmerich film version (with exploding refrigerators).

And yes, I too, many years ago, learned the hard way about the lack of wisdom of the hammer + screwdriver defrosting technique.

Colleen said...

Ok, I'm officially scared.

Vince said...

@ dogsdon'tpurr. Where on this earth did you see water gradually lift itself.
If that spike is from the ice-tray, then Erin is sticking the tray to the roof of the ice-box just before the center has completely gone solid.
Now if she is doing that she has an all together different set of problems.

DogsDontPurr said...

Vince~ Truely, it is a weird phenomenon. Really. I don't know the science behind it...but...ice trays sometimes actually do this on their own. It's freakin' cool when it happens. (Pun not intended.)

Gillian said...

Talk about an arb but interesting post...

Erin O'Brien said...

You people and your pesky science. Okay, fine. Here's your explanation.

"Oddly enough, some people often get plenty of ice spikes using ordinary tap water, but this appears to be rare."

See? MY ice spikes are VERY RARE! And who else out there has tap-water ice spikes that sing to icicles hanging over a red Goat? Huh? No one, that's who.

erf.

Lickety Splitter said...

I'm afraid I'm going to have to report you to either Playgirl or the science guy. Which would you prefer?

Anonymous said...

Clearly the introduction of frost free freezers is responsible for global warming. Those spikes represent the water nymphs last efforts to save the polar bears.

RJ

P.S. I watched "Paranormal Activity" with my macabre 11 yo this weekend. I suspect with some time lapse photography and erie music that freezer activity represents a cinematic blockbuster.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear Lickety: Please report me to both organizations, and thank you for your support.

hoosierboy said...

Today's goal: learn something (everyday's goal actually).

Check

Anonymous said...

oh dear what is in your tap water?





jo

Erin O'Brien said...

It's clearly not saltpeter.

Kass said...

I had such a rollickingly good time at 'Explain This Image' - I just had to tell you thanks for that and for this - Funny, you are.

Anonymous said...

HA!
I had to explain to everyone here in cubicle-land why I just busted out laughing!


jo

Miz Dinah said...

Heehee...ice-dicles. I have seen one of those recently. What causes this phenomenon??

Joannah said...

This has been happening in my freezer as well as of late. I assumed it was because of the way I creatively shove as much into my freezer around my cube trays and say a lil prayer it closes.

Just wait until you open it to find a "farm" You will know it when you do.