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 Tuesday February 23rd 2016Tim Candler9

 

      Many years ago as a much younger person your correspondent was gainfully employed seven days a week as City Milkman. His day would begin around three o'clock in the morning, and except for Friday and Saturday when he had to collect money from his customers his day would end sometime around the morning rush hour. There was one street he delivered to that was in that part of the city that had devoted itself to higher learning, more specifically to those who'd taken their first tentative steps into the cruel world that leads to Merchant Banking and a whole bunch of Ics and Ologies. I think you'd call them First Year College or University Students. Upwardly mobile youths who spoke with funny accents and seemed mostly to have a certain vacancy of expression when it came time to pay for their milk or get up in the morning, but the question that dominated your correspondent's imagination when in that part of the city was why did so many new students spend their money on a daily bottle of milk delivered to their door. It just seemed wrong and a little fishy, not to say incredibly dull, but your correspondent was able to convince himself that most likely the custom was based upon a combination of homesickness and obedience to the will of a distant parent holding a purse string.

 

Past

     For those who might not be aware of it, in higher learning both Friday and Saturday Night are devoted to the important and strange rituals of Bacchus and worship of the Leopard. Young devotees get failing grades for going to bed before sunrise and they are subject to expulsion unless they can demonstrate their commitment to learning by obtaining at least a plus grade in projectile vomiting in front of witnesses. Then one early Sunday morning, it was a beautiful morning, clear sky, a moon and stars up there looking down at the folly of it all, your correspondent diligently collecting his empty milk bottles and replacing them with full bottles, happened upon a worshipper of learning in an apparently emotional condition on the front step of his temporary residence. The Leopard had clearly touched the young man's soul, he'd had some kind of major revelation because he was urinating in an empty bottle of milk. Not a pretty sight under any circumstances and a wholly unnecessary thing to to do given the immediacy of rather sad stand of Rhododendron in the small front yard. Either way the young man's peculiar act did answer one of the big questions, and back at the Milk Yard he was a source of some entertainment.

 

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