Thirty minutes ago I opened the door to my microwave oven to discover a burrito thing lying there on the glass plate rotater, still wrapped in wax paper.

Logic insists that I must have put it there, but I simply have no recollection of how long it's been languishing in the microwave, or how it even got there in the first place. I suppose for the sake of thoroughness, and to set a good example for the children, I should also have no recollection of whether or not a burrito thing is safe to eat. It's probably a moot point, but isn't that what microwaves are for? Nuking the little critters that lurk inside of burritos? It might not be safe to eat right this minute, per se, but I'm not unduly worried.

Anyway, here I am staring at a burrito thing in the microwave. I'm hungry, I'm tired, there's a burrito thing here, and the clock is ticking. In order to solve this mystery I should start by looking for clues using a scientific and methodical process, like Sherlock Holmes.

I'll begin by breaking the process into manageable chunks or “steps,” as they say in the scientific community.

Step 1: Assess the Facts

Fact number 1: I know that the ridiculous size of my tolerance for alcohol precludes blackouts nowadays, and that's a fact.

Fact number 2: Hell, I can't even remember the last time I was drunk, and…

Fact number 3: I disappear into my liver two big ass bottles of 190 proof Tomahawk distilled spirits every week!

Now that I'm armed with the facts, I'm able to deduce that I absolutely do not remember putting the burrito thing in my microwave, because it's impossible for me to get drunk enough to black out.

The scientific method is already producing quantifiable results! I'm pretty sure those are all the facts.

Step 2: Retrace Your Steps

Okay, let's see… I was at the microwave, puzzling over the newly discovered burrito thing. Before that I was lying in bed watching Frozen for the eleventy-zillion-and-a-halfth time and possibly getting hungry. Before that I'd gotten home from work and fixed myself a great big drink with lots of that 190 proof Tomahawk stuff I was talking about a minute ago. Before that I was at work. Before that I was at home watching Frozen for the eleventy-zillionth time. Before that I was asleep. Before that I was scrounging for food after work. Before that I made a great big drink… and on and on, ad nauseam.

Okay, this is obviously the wrong approach. If every day is just a repeat of the previous day, there's no way I'll be able to locate this mystery burrito thing by retracing my steps through thousands of repeats. That's “needle in a haystack” odds right there. It's brutal, really. Basically this means every day of my life is just a rerun of a pilot episode that was so shitty it never even had the dubious distinction of getting canceled after the first season. Hell, it never even got canceled, it just got thrown in the trash.

Oh my God, how depressing. I need a drink.

Since the scientific method of searching for clues didn't pan out, it's time to consider a less rigid, more right-brained approach.

I'll start by framing the problem of the burrito thing as the pilot episode of a reality show that's centered around my life, which I like to call:

“Empty Shelf: The Search for Food”

Catchy, huh? Kind of like Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. I think it adds just the right amount of drama needed in order to give it a false sense of appeal. I'm not suggesting that a reality show centered around my life wouldn't be appealing; it's just that most people have to be lied to before they'll believe anything. It's a hook, you know? Lie to them, get them to watch so that they can see how much you've lied to them, and BAM! They're hooked whenever they discover the truth!

Moving on.

Usually whenever I conduct a search for food I start by digging through the trash at work for write-offs…. And whadda you know, upon closer inspection, I see now that this burrito thing is definitely a write-off from work! NOW I'm getting some results!

Now all I have to figure out is: how did a burrito thing get all the way from the trash dumpster at my workplace to the inside of my microwave oven? That's the mystery, and I'm too tired to solve it right now, and I was too tired to solve it when I went ahead and ate it ten minutes ago. Sorry.

Please enjoy instead a comprehensive review of the burrito thing that's probably a write-off that I don't remember digging out of the dumpster where we chuck the expired food that's gone bad at the 7-Eleven where I work.

“The Burrito Thing Review”

Originally, all I wanted to do was warm up my Four Loko Tomahawk boilermaker in the microwave so that the carbonation wouldn't hurt my throat when I chugged it. That's when I discovered the burrito thing. After some quality ruminating, I decided that a minute and a half would be enough time to nuke the poison to death, so I nuked it for a minute and a half and ate it.

My conclusion is: it wasn't very good. It was all breakfasty, and not enough like dinner when you're in the mood for dinner. Plus, the ever-present thought of the possibility of dying with every bite helped to make it less enjoyable.

All in all I'd rate the burrito thing as adequate emergency sustenance for Russian peasants in the event of a nuclear attack.