© Mike Konopka

Now that EARS has it's snappy new bylaws in place, I think it's about time that we mandate guidelines, and bylaws of safe conduct for the use of perhaps the most important piece of outboard equipment in any studio, namely the fridge. The following standards were developed in accordance with Underwriter's Labs, The Chicago Health Department, OSHA, and of course the queen of all things good and proper, Martha Stewart. EARS teams may perform surprise inspections of your fridge at any time during the year under the guise of an "EARS Meeting" Beware!

1. The Fridge:  The fridge itself should be a unit manufactured between 1954 and 1972. Preferably a bulbous, rounded off unit donated by that idiot uncle on your mother's side. Modern units sporting side by side doors, in-door ice and water dispensers, or frost free operation are not to be used as this is not the image EARS, nor the Chicago recording community is trying to convey. Fridges left behind by previous tenants can be utilized providing that the freezer door is  missing. Additionally, the door of said fridge shall be rusty and adorned with stickers from long defunct audio equipment manufactures such as "Tapco", "Arp", or "MXR". Optionally the fridge may be painted black. The fridge should be cleaned once every leap year.

2. Placement of Said Fridge: The fridge shall be located in a remote corner of the studio facility, preferably obstructed by blown speaker cabinets, old analog client reels, and  low hanging heat ducts. EARS does not recommend the unit to be placed on it's side, nor even on it's back.

3. Classification of Refrigerated items:
Items placed in the fridge are subject to one of the following three classifications.

A:    Freebies
These items are free for the taking and consumption of all slackers who check out the fridge. They include: leftover mayo, ketchup, and butter packets, stale fortune cookies, little plastic cups of Parmigian cheese and hot peppers, and coagulated globules of  week-old  pizza remnants still stuck to the box. Also free are any beverage with less than one (1) inch of liquid still in it's container. Any gelatinous growths inside the crisper are not to be consumed!

B: One hour protected.
Leftover client food shall be not be eaten by ravenous musicians or studio personal until one (1) hour or one (1) basic track has been recorded. The drummer shall be the first to eat someone else's food (starting with little triangles of cold pizza) thereby declaring open season on all client leftovers. If the studio has vending machines, than any item in the fridge is fare game immediately.

C: Beer:
Even the most novice audio intern knows that putting beer in the studio fridge is tantamount to simply throwing it out of  an open fifth story window!

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