I don’t know anything about milk. Actually, I know it’s white and it’s filled with mucous. I know that people love it. And I know that it upsets my stomach. I know that the cow offspring that naturally drink it have five stomachs. I know that sort of makes some sense as to why mine usually hurts when I drink it. I also know that part of why I don’t like milk is because when my older brother and I were kids, my father thought it’d be really funny to have us sample milk straight out of the cow while visiting a farm owned by a friend of the family. (You have never, ever seen two kids’ faces contort so quickly and horribly.) Milk was never the same again after that. I imagine the milk industry would take quite a hit had the great people of this nation sampled milk straight out of a cow teat. But I digress.
Last weekend, I needed milk because I wanted to make lemon poppy seed muffins. It was late and the place across the street doesn’t carry soy milk so I purchased regular milk. I’ve had it in the house ever since. When Soung came to visit, she used a little bit in her coffee. I used it in the muffins and also in the peanut butter cream pie I made. Otherwise, it hasn’t gotten much play. I feel like a bad person for wasting all that milk.
Last night, Dan arrived from England. The same Dan who was beaten pretty badly this past July. I haven’t seen Dan in several years. And even though he was unbelievably tired, we dragged him out to Enid’s for dinner. We made the best of an otherwise dreary evening.
When we got home, we did what any decent human might do for a British house-guest. We made tea. And everyone knows that ALL British people use milk in their tea. So I pulled out the milk container.
“How long does milk last? What’s today’s date?”
“Probably about a week? I dunno. Why, what’s the expiration date read?”
It expired yesterday. Dan, do you know if it’s OK?”
Worried it might actually explode or contaminate my fingers and body, I held the container at arm’s length.
That’s when Dan suggested I smell it.
I removed the lid and lifted the jug to my face. I inhaled deeply. It didn’t smell bad but I couldn’t have my British friend possibly drink spoiled milk. I needed to go in first. If this was going to kill him, it would have to take me down first.
Toby and Dan sat on the couch and watched. Their heads followed my movements much like cats do when they are taunted by moving objects. Suddenly, right as I was getting ready to sip the milk, everything funny came rushing back to me
– their reaction, my past milk experience, the fact that I was sampling the milk straight from the container, cows, mooing, – everything. Everything.
I’m not sure why I couldn’t hold it back, but suddenly, milk was flying in every direction using my face as its launching pad. It was as if my head exploded while blood was on vacation and milk was there to babysit. Milk flew everywhere.
My head must have been the most excellent feline pinata, because our cats arrived immediately to reap the benefits. They began to furiously lap up the hundreds of droplets of milk. Toby and Dan watched in horror. My face dripped with milk. It suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t indeed sleeping. It occurred to me that this wasn’t a nightmare. It became horribly clear that there was actually expired milk all over my face and arms.