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Recently, I opened the fridge at The Mom’s house and set about fixing myself a snack. I don’t remember what I ate, but later that evening, it transpired that the thing I ate was the last such thing in the house and it wasn’t mine. Or, rather, The Mom hadn’t purchased it so technically, it wasn’t up for grabs.

Which is what it’s like when one lives with flatmates or room mates, but not, generally, how things work at The Mom’s. Yes, everyone has their Special Things, which are so well known and age-old that it’s obvious I shouldn’t be eating them. That or they’re so terribly unpleasant that I wouldn’t go near them with a ten foot pole. You know, I don’t often find myself thinking that what I’d really like to eat is a big plate of flash-frozen collard greens. I’m sure there are people who would disagree. L’il Sis and Crazy D would be two such people.

I have my own things that I would prefer if people didn’t eat, but nobody here listens to me. I’m like the youngest child, the weakest gazelle, and the runt of the litter when we’re in the kitchen.The Mom got my a big yellow box of Cheerios and forgot to tell me about it, until there wasn’t quite enough time for me to finish eating them, unless I was going to eat them for every meal. So L’il Sis started giving them to her dog The Pig. Which is fine, until I have to fight the dog for my breakfast. Equally, I have also been given a box of saltines which I really like, and those, too, I fear will soon be doled out to the dog. The people in this house won’t go near anything I eat because it’s not made from hippies.

It’s good that L’il Sis and Crazy D are buying their own food because if The Mom had to do it, she’d have been driven crazy long ago. They both have a level of precision about their food that I appreciate. The problem is, The Mom doesn’t recognise any of their brands and so cannot locate them with ease in the grocery store. And there’s also the fact that she’ll balk at spending ten bucks for something that were it not organic and made of hippies would cost a buck fifty. When I lived here, my list was fairly straightforward, with the exception of the bear-shaped biscuits, but after a group trip to the supermarket, and a sketchy map hand-drawn by myself, The Mom quickly got the hang of things. And since I was in the midst of an evil Crohn’s flare, it’s not like I was really eating anything anyhow.

But L’il Sis and Crazy D are robust pictures of health. They are excellent eaters. And have good taste. So they buy their own food. Which is making the fridge more crowded than ever.

I asked The Mom if there was anything available for me to eat for lunch, as I stood in front of the fridge.

“Can I eat this hummus?”

“Probably. But it’s your sister’s. And she’s working this week, so you better check just to be safe. It might be tomorrow’s lunch.”

“What about this hot chocolate?”

“Your brother’s. Probably has fibre  in it. Or maybe it’s one of his protein drinks, masquerading as something edible. I can’t say for sure. Approach with caution.”

“Is there any bread?”

“Depends on what you mean by bread,” the Mom replied.

“I mean bread, you know? Like, bready.”

“Oh, nobody will eat that so I’ve stopped buying it. There’s the usual German rot-gut bread.”

“Riddled with fibre. Can’t eat it.”

“Well, I think you’re out of luck. If somebody comes back with the car soon, I’ll go out and get you something white and fluffy to eat.”

The other strange thing that’s been happening since everybody started buying their own food is that we are now overrun with lettuces, greens, peppers, eggs and so on and so forth. And since there’s only so much room in the fridge, and people get a bit put out when they can’t easily see the thing they want, apparently the cold cellar in the basement has been commandeered. I couldn’t say for sure, as I’m still scared of the basement, but I have deduced that L’il Sis and Crazy D have come to some arranamgent with Ratty who is in permanent residence down there.