Spilt Milk

This happened back when I was living in Chicago after finishing college. Me and two other friends had a huge apartment. Donna had just moved in and everything was going pretty well. Actually, that was when things were best: back when Donna and I really didn’t know each other that well but that is another story and not very important.

By far the best part of the day was dinner. Somehow between Mike’s (one of the 2 guys) and my cooking, we could put together a pretty good dinner: Steak, Potatoes, and Vegetables. (Donna hadn’t started in on being a Vegetarian yet so she was eating normal food.) And we would have these very enlightened dinner conversations.

Most nights’ entertainment revolved around timing jokes to when someone was taking a drink of whatever, getting them to laugh, and watch them try to either keep from spitting across the table or running to the sink in the kitchen to bust up hysterically all over the stainless steel. Mind you it sounds rather disgusting now, but at the time, it was spontaneous and lots of fun. And watching a dumb remark catch someone off guard while gulping that may (or may not) start coming out their nose was enough to make your sides ache. Especially when that person has a history of getting off doing the same to you.

I guess sometimes Mike was pretty merciless to Donna… I had known Mike for over three years then and had gotten used to how not to laugh when drinking. But Donna hadn’t. Once he said some crack, and I was mid drink, and it hadn’t phased me. Donna was just finishing her milk and had almost put it all down. She was on the borderline of control and nose spewing. So without even looking up from my plate, I lifted my arm, pointed to the sink, and that was it. She lost it as she ran. Mike started giggling fiendishly and I just shook my head resignedly.

One of those nights, I told Mike I had gotten a letter from Nick. Mike nodded his head. Donna asked who is Nick?

So I startup: I had met this guy back in high school when we both worked at a fast food chicken place. We both played Dungeons and Dragons and hit off on that. Between that and other interests of chess, girls, karate, and just plain messing about, we’ve been friends for a long time. At one point, Mike, Nick, and I were all studying karate together at the same club for a summer, Well, Nick managed to get transferred to Japan through the liberal arts college he went to the next year. To live in Japan really is an experience. I would get letters back from Nick explaining what it was like to be an American in Tokyo and Kyoto.

I had almost finished when Donna interrupted with a question: why was Nick in Japan?

I started up again: Well, some people who have German heritage eventually want to visit Germany.

And I paused to take a bite of food and Donna asks so Nick must be Japanese?

I took a drink to help wash down the bite of food. I replied as Mike starts to take a drink:

No. Nick is German.

Donna just sat there momentarily stunned. And Mike started to giggle with a full mouth of milk he somehow managed to swallow.

And I just sat there with an innocent, straight face. Mike and Donna started howling with laughter.

I’m was waiting to finish my explanation that though Nick is German, he appreciated the beauty and harmony of Japanese culture. But I never got the chance because Donna and Mike were laughing so hard. After realizing why they were in hysterics, I stopped waiting and finished off my glass of milk.

October 1987

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