"Daddy, I want a different glass of milk, this one taste funny, I think it's fresh." I roll my eyes; knowing all too well that further questioning would be futile, for once Lucy deemed something "fresh," it was otherwise undrinkable. With her arms folded squarely across her chest and her nose pointed up at the poorly hung chandelier illuminating our dining room table, she pleads for a new glass, an "ice-cold" glass.
I'm not exactly sure how or why this started, but for some reason Lucy has classified all beverages into two categories. They are either considered "fresh," which could mean any one of the following: Warm, smells funny, tastes funny, looks funny, thick or orange. Everything else is considered "ice-cold." To make matters even more confusing ice cubes do not turn "fresh" drinks into "ice-cold" drinks, but sometimes switching cups can. It is also interesting to point out that if you were to… let's say take a drink out of Lucy's cup that was filled with "ice-cold" chocolate milk, it would instantly become "fresh," unless you give her a straw. A straw has the uncanny ability to turn "fresh" into "ice-cold," but this trick only works on milk, shakes and smoothies… that is, until today.
"It's not helping dad, it's still fresh."
"But I gave you a straw."
"I know, but it's not working. The milk taste strange… or wetter. I don't like it." The truth is, I know exactly what she's talking about and I couldn't have put it better myself, the "wetter" part anyway. Let me explain….
We spend, on average $87.69 a month on milk. Milk? Yes, milk. That is more than our electricity, cable, water and phone services. That's right my friends, our average monthly "milk bill" is second only to rent. Seems crazy right? Why so much? Are we drinking the milk of new born unicorns? Have we stumbled upon a magical creature whose lactatious secretions can cure 12 kinds of cancer, make your breath smell like purple sunbeams, turn flatulence into Burt Bacharach melodies and last but not least, allows us to speak telepathically to the late great Bea Arthur during the first full moon of each month? Thank you, thank you for being a friend. The answer is yes…kinda.
You see in this household we drink… cow milk. I know, big deal, so what, we all drink "cow" milk. Oh, no-no-no, wait-wait-wait, this milk doesn't come from one of those stupid lazy cows you see in pictures or movies who just stand by a fence deciding which stomach their gonna ploop their current mouthful of grassy wet cud into. No sir, we get our milk from "organic" farmed cows… they come from heaven. And at $5.99 a gallon that's what I have to convince myself every time I buy some.
I'll admit I do spend some a suspicious amount of time at the grocery store checking out the $2.99 stuff I drank when I was a kid, I'm not gonna lie, we had some good times. But I'm always snapped back to reality the moment someone grabs a jug and puts it into their cart, I wanna yell, "Hey, you with the mortal's milk. Do you even know who milked the lazy cow responsible for producing that creamy white mess you allow your children to pour over their Fruit Loops? Do yuh? No?! Well, it was a person, or a machine or something. You don't know, you don't know nothin'." This outburst would no doubt alert the manager to the crazy man berating innocent bystanders in the dairy aisle, and within seconds I'll be schlepped out the doors by my collar screaming "Free Attica!" Then I'd laugh all the way home knowing that the organic milk my daughters will be enjoying for dinner was righteously squeezed by the tiny yet aggressive hands of Zeus himself. Now that's quality you can't put a price on. Cool, yummy, rich, delicious organic milk, "The bovine nectar of Gods."
So for three and a half years, I was fine letting my daughters drink this outrageously expensive elixir that my wife has claimed, "Prevents the early onslaught of an un-natural puberty (I'm paraphrasing)." Apparently, a few years ago she heard that somewhere in Europe, a 5-year-old girl started to "mature" at a rate that is usually reserved for the teen years. Anyway, after hundreds of tests (at least that is what I'm assuming), Someone decided this problem was caused by the extra hormones that are placed into non-organic milk and not the nuclear power plant she lived next door to (Okay, I made that last part about the nuclear power plant up. But really, Milk? I can't imagine all the possibilities that were eliminated before someone said, "Well it It's not the ozone or high electromagnetic fields, let's try milk. And if that doesn't work, we'll try Skittles." I'm just sayin'… it seems like a stretch). Thus, our organic milk experiment began, although not without trepidation. Sooner or later I think we both knew (I'm frugal), the numbers were gonna get to me…
$5.99 per gl. x 3 per wk = $17.97 x 4(weeks a month) = $71.88 x 12(months a year) = $862.56 annually, for milk! (Tax not included)… which brings us to today and Lucy's glass of "fresh--wetter" milk.
I've been watering it down, hard, and I make no apologies. Folks, we are living in turbulent times, you don't need me to tell you that. The economy is in the tank and I'm unemployed. I'm doing something good, something commendable; I'm stretching the almighty dollar. So what? So, maybe Lucy has to drink a few glasses of "Organic Lite" for a couple of years. Just imagine all the money we'll be saving. If I can eliminate just one gallon a week that's an annual savings of $287.52! With that amount of money, I could buy this household something it really needs, Scotch. A nice hand crafted, single malt bottle of "ice-cold" Scotch.
*I did absolutely no research whatsoever on the benefits or hazards of drinking "organic" milk. I have however done some personal research on the benefits of a good Scotch and I think it could be worth the investment. I'm also gonna catch hell from my wife.