PIERRE, SD—After several unsuccessful attempts to insert a KFC bucket into his cluttered refrigerator Thursday, local man Jeremy Browning, 32, was forced to rearrange every item in the 24.5-cubic-foot cooling appliance to make the chicken container fit.
"At first I tried to just shove it in real hard and push the [refrigerator] door closed," Browning told reporters. "But the door wouldn't close."
Although Browning claims he initially tried to eat all 15 pieces of the Original Recipe chicken, the quantity proved too great and he realized that his only option to preserve the remaining four pieces for future consumption was to store the KFC bucket in his refrigerator. However, the 10-inch-tall, eight-inch-wide fried-chicken receptacle proved too large.
"It was too tall, so I had to lower the shelf a notch," said Browning, who removed each of the items from his refrigerator's top shelf and then placed them on the floor in front of him in order to make the adjustment.
However, Browning soon found that there was little available space remaining when he attempted to return the provisions from the floor to the now-bucket-occupied shelf. In addition, Browning noticed that the bucket was pressing against the refrigerator's lightbulb, raising concerns that it might melt and contaminate the chicken.
After briefly assessing the situation, Browning developed a solution that involved moving several Styrofoam containers, fast-food bags, and a frying pan covered with a plate from the top shelf to the middle shelf. However, this only created a new organizational dilemma. The refrigerator door again failed to close properly, because, according to Browning, "something kept hitting something."
Browning confirmed that he was eventually able to make room for the bucket by piling various food items on top of each other and turning boxes and other containers on their sides. He was particularly proud of a four-item-high vertical stack of a take-out rice container, a tub of cream cheese, and two nearly empty salsa jars.
"That one was tricky," said Browning, noting that he put the "less useful stuff" toward the back of the shelf because he knew he would not get to last week's leftovers until he finished the chicken.
Asked if there was ever a point during the reorganization of his refrigerator when he considered discarding the bucket and wrapping the remaining pieces of chicken in aluminum foil, Browning told reporters, "No."
"You don't eat chicken off a plate," he said. "Chicken tastes better out of the bucket."
"You put the bucket in your lap and eat right over it," Browning continued. "That way you catch and save all the little fried bits and eat them when you're out of chicken."
Upon finding room for the bucket, Browning discovered he still had a surplus of food items with no place to be stored, even after he transferred a loaf of white bread and an apple to the freezer. He initially contemplated flipping the quarts of milk and orange juice on their sides, but ultimately decided the risk of spilled liquid was too great. Instead, Browning was able to create a minimal amount of room by folding in half a pizza box containing a single slice left over from three nights ago.
According to sources, Browning at one point went so far as to drink the remaining half of a two-liter bottle of Pepsi in an ill-fated attempt to free up space in the refrigeration unit's side-door soda caddy.
"Everything kept sliding under the bar, though," Browning said. "I could hear everything fall out when I shut the door. I think because it's slanted."
Browning said his biggest breakthrough occurred when he finally began to fully utilize the dairy compartment by filling it with smaller food items, including part of a lime, a small stack of white Kraft Singles, and a Ziploc bag of ground beef. In addition, Browning was able to find a home in the vegetable crisper for the box of KFC biscuits from last month.
Although Browning was reportedly satisfied with his newly organized refrigerator, he did admit that he had trouble closing the door until he removed a box of baking soda that prevented it from properly sealing.