milk bus baby (the milk on the bus)

March 23


I’ve had so many funny experiences this week, I’ll burst if I hold them in any longer. So I have to tell you at least one now. I’m glad I already wrote about the cherry blossoms last night, because I’ve been keeping a mental list of these funnies and it’s getting long enough that some memories will soon fade to the ether. Also, for the record, I sniffed lots of cherry blossoms today and I don’t think they are smelly. They aren’t sweet and lovely, sure, but they are nice in their own way. Musky and alive. If my congested sinuses and I are completely wrong, just let me know. But just so you’re aware, I find the bright side of most things, so if you magically float a pile of the smelliest blossoms outside my front door, I’ll probably admire how gorgeous they are and try not to roll in them. I do that sort of thing.

And that’s really only bad for whomever hugs me. So my mom and dad. My dog will be thrilled at the extra smells.

Moving on, I’ll tell you about the milk on the bus. This happened on Monday, at the end of my cherry blossom day.

The new bus buddy

Just after 5 o’clock, T and I boarded the bus together, along with plenty of other off-at-5 employees. The bus stop is directly across the street from our warehouse, and despite being in the industrial part of town, the bus is already crowded at 5. T and I were lucky to find a couple of seats near the middle of the bus. But guess what?

There was a half-gallon carton of milk on one of the seats. Sitting by its lonesome.

Trisha slid past it to sit down. I stuttered in the aisle. Glanced around, asked the guy talking behind us (on his phone, it turned out) and he didn’t know whose it was. The milk was riding solo. I picked up the milk and half sat down then stopped. I could be an assertive human being. I COULD DO SOMETHING.

So the milk and I walked to the front of the bus. I did the walking, the milk chilled in my arms.

I neared the driver and shared that the milk had been left, to which he replied, “I can’t do anything about that while I’m driving.” No, of course, he couldn’t. I knew that! But I also didn’t want to put it in the garbage; it was a perfectly good unopened carton. So I enthusiastically broke one of the most firmly established unspoken rules: I addressed my fellow riders. Standing in the middle of the aisle, I held up the milk, and tried to find its former and/or future human.

With a smile, “Is this anyone’s milk? No one will judge you if it’s yours!….No?

Does anyone want it? It’s fresh—best by April 1 (I refrained saying this wasn’t April Fools), and unopened.”

I gazed at my fellow introverts, and we were a very amused crowd. Who left this milk?? Who would claim it?? I’m sure I said more, but alas, no one spoke up. When I glanced behind me, the driver was fighting a laugh. He told me to just put it next to the garbage.

As I noticed, and T called from her seat, however, there was a hole between the plexiglass and the platform that the carton likely would have slid through (and fallen to the floor). I considered placing the carton behind the garbage can where it wouldn’t fall but also wouldn’t be very visible. The driver shot that down; nobody wants rotten milk.

So, extending the carton between my hands like Simba, I gazed at my bus-mates, called, “anyone?” and slowly lowered the milk into the garbage. People laughed and smiled, but no one claimed it.

After joining T, I lamented not telling folks that the milk was still cold.

We chortled to ourselves about how funny it would have been to put a cap on the milk carton and let it have its own seat. Maybe given it little overalls, too, like the Despicable Me minions.  Later, I shared this idea with my cousin over sushi. We agreed that a bag of sugar or pineapple would be better. If we lived in a less troubled age, and I didn’t worry about anyone perceiving our milk/sugar/pineapple baby as a bomb, I would consider giving one a bus outing. It’d be so great, Les. Imagine a little bag of sugar with a bicycle cap and little shoes just busing around town. What a grand adventure.


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