I know I am not supposed to do this. But when you can't sleep and you had Chinese food for dinner (which always leaves you hungry later) chances are you are going to raid the refridgerator no matter what your conscience tells you. Tonight was one of those nights for me. Foraging around the kitchen cabinets, and the refrigerator was yielding little in the way of appetizing selections. I had some wheat chex, an old standby for late snacking like this, but there was no milk. There were not any cookies in the cabinet, but even if there had been, there still would be no milk. The new jar of peanut butter beckoned, but because it was new it would leave too much evidence of my midnight run ...and of course, still no milk. Getting a bit desperate I took a second pass through the refrigerator. There, in the back behind some plastic containers holding mystery stuff, was a half consumed jar of "Best Food" cheese spread. Pulling it out from it's reclusive spot I noticed that there was a little bonus that came with consuming this pasty looking stuff.
Somewhere way back, perhaps it was in the 50s when Madison Ave. was riding the wave of "hidden pursuasion" and amidst the explosive opportunities of television, someone noticed that at home, they gave their kids milk in jelly jars. They did that because the kids had long before broken the entire set of drinking glasses they had purchased at Woolsworth. They weren't going to use their favorite highball glasses only to have them broken also. The solution was found in jelly jars. They worked, were good enough for the kids, and were free to boot. But someone doing that at home, took the idea back to their advertising office and invented the idea of making jelly jars that looked like drinking glasses. This idea led to increased brand loyalty because once you had one jelly jar glass, you obviously would want a full set.
It seems the idea still has legs and indeed, it was embodied in the jar of whipped cheese sitting in the fridge. All the better I thought as I liberated the cheese and popped the lid. A waft of sourish odor rose to my nostrils so suddenly I took a defensive step back. After relidding the offending goo, I searched for the expiry date. There it was, hidden in small print under the ingredients list. The stuff was older then my most comfortable slippers (and smelled about the same). So I happily ran the hot water into the glass feeling that, in any case, I had recovered a small treasure. It was a rather handsome thing after all, especially with the crud washed out of it. The shape could be described as a fat hollow stem at the base of an on-the-rocks glass. After admiring the now glistening bonus, I set it on the drain board and turned out the lights in the kitchen. The sour "cheese" odor had put me off my feed. (Note to self: keep something rotten in the icebox as a discipline aid) I wandered back to bed thinking about my good luck. I love free stuff.