Keep the plastic toys out of the refrigerator

Why Mom doesn't like Han Solo action figures in the leftover meatloaf

By

FROM: Office of the Director, Family Intelligence Agency

TO: All Family Members

RE: Restricted Items, Updated List

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

The director of the Family Intelligence Agency (aka "Mom") has determined that the kitchen's chronic shortage of plastic containers for the storage of leftover food is due to the overuse of aforesaid containers in the experimental freezing of plastic action figurines.

The information behind this finding is as follows: Yesterday, upon accessing the lower portion of the refrigerator for items necessary to her restorative evening beverage, Mom found buried in the ice bucket her long-sought Tupperware-brand Stuffables® 1.4 liter bowl.

A forensic examination aided by Senior Investigator Peanut the Beagle determined that this bowl contained approximately 1.2 liters of frozen clear liquid, presumably water; meatloaf residue; and a 4-inch Han Solo action figure, minus its head.

Further freezer excavation produced a 750 ml Stuffables®, a 4-quart plastic casserole of uncertain origin, and two separate two-cup containers thought to have once contained takeout Chinese food. These contained further frozen liquid, and, respectively, small representations of Iron Man, The Flash, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a weasel.

Questioned as to the purpose of freezing toy superheroes, family operatives Andrew, 9, and Daniel, 8, responded that the enjoyment to be had from such activity was, in their view, self-evident, except in the case of those unfortunate enough to be "clueless." Accordingly, the director has added food storage containers to the list of items whose use is restricted to adults, or to children or beagles in possession of an authorization signed by the director or her designated representative.

(NOTE: the signature of the assistant director for information, aka "Dad," is NOT sufficient for use of restricted items, due to his incrimination in past incidents with unfortunate resolutions.)

Other items currently on the restricted-use list include: batteries, tape, glue, toilet plungers, fireplace tools, tape measures, flashlights, firewood, bubble bath, credit cards – both expired and current, retractable leashes, the food processor, pitchforks, and everything used in last Thursday's flight of the cat in the radio-controlled blimp.

Pursuant to appeal by Andrew, breakfast cereal has been removed from the list, but only in circumstances dealing with nutrition. Its use as pillow stuffing remains strictly prohibited.

The director retains the right to place items on the list without consultation and to punish those who misuse things that should have been on the list, but weren't.

Thank you for your efforts to make our family the best it can be. While you're at it, put down that water balloon.

• Peter Grier is a Monitor staff writer in Washington.

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