Ted Wilson Reviews the World: A Carton of Milk

★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5)

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing a carton of milk.

I’ve found a lot of surprises in my fridge, from moldy potatoes to forgotten Snickers bars to a neighborhood kid who was got trapped while hiding from some bullies. Fortunately, I found him in time. Unfortunately, when I let him out my front door the bullies were there waiting.

One particularly unwelcome surprise recently came in the form of a carton of Bradlees brand milk. Bradlees shuttered all their stores in 2001. The carton was unopened, which gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, it was still okay. It turned out to be the opposite of okay.

First of all, the glue that sealed the carton shut had become hardened over the years, which meant opening it via the normal folding process was impossible. I tried to tear the carton open but it hurt my fingertips. Because I had accidentally sold my only pair of scissors at my tag sale a month earlier, it meant having to guy buy a new pair. It took me hours to find a tag sale with a pair of scissors for sale, and by the time I got home, I had forgotten all about the milk. It wasn’t until the next day when I remembered the milk was sitting out on the counter.

If the milk hadn’t gone bad in the past 15 years, letting it sit out for an entire day may have been the tipping point. The milk had reduced itself to a paste — a paste that smelled like a human corpse, if you’ve ever smelled one of those things.

My life before opening the milk had been so pleasant that I just stapled the carton closed so I could put it back in the fridge and forget any of this ever happened. That’s when I noticed the missing person on the side of the milk carton. It was a young boy who shared my name. I don’t like to share things so in my head I renamed him Ricky.

I wondered about Ricky. Had he ever been found? If not, where was he right now? Did he know he was missing? Had his family stopped loving him? Maybe Ricky had his own family now, and his own missing child. It was all too overwhelming to consider. Sometimes life can become an incomprehensible mess of unknowableness and it’s best to just not think about any of it.

This carton of milk pretty much ruined my day.

BEST FEATURE: The odd proportions of the carton make my hand look gigantic.
WORST FEATURE: The ink transferred to my skin and then I got Ricky’s face all over my own.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing a turtle.

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