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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dairy Wars


Across the lines came the blood-curdling cry, “Whey into them, boys!”

Anything about that line sound strange to you? For me, it’s the dairy references. Milk is comprised of curds and whey, as anyone who’s familiar with Miss Muffet on her tuffet can tell you. Curds is the part that gets hard like cottage cheese, or when scrunched together for a long time, hard cheese. Whey is the liquid stuff that curds float in when milk gets chunky. Skim milk is largely whey. Chunky milk has been curdled. Blood doesn’t curdle, it clots. Why do we say, blood-curdling instead of blood-clotting?

And what does whey have to do with impassioned violence?

That’s right men; throw that sour skim milk in their faces! Their clothes will get all filmy and their hair will look funny! They’ll smell bad for a week!

Udderly ridiculous - or is it?

Not having the money to travel, I chose the less expensive route of travel dreaming. Being an alum (meaning it took me longer to flunk out than at most schools I went to) of UMass Amherst, I decided to dream travel to the game where our mighty A-10 school faced the Wisconsin Badgers of the wimpy Big 10 (at least our division REALLY has 10 teams!) (Okay, UMass is in the Mac now – poetic license.)

There I was, on the fifty yard line, just under row 27.

Yeah, I said under.

You see ticket prices (even dream tickets,) are pretty pricey, and from a spot under the massive bleachers, I get to experience the roar and majesty of the game without paying for a ticket.

It’s also a great place to find loose change.

I was busily picking up pennies and nickels and staring hungrily at a plate of nachos perched above me, just out of reach, when I was joined by a lad of 10 or 12 wearing a red jersey with a big white W on it.

“You one of those Minute Men, Mister?” he asked.

“Yes, I went UMass,” I answered.

“Minute Men,” he scoffed. “It must make you real popular with the ladies.”

I looked again at this child, wondering if he’d meant to make an off-color remark.

“So, you up here to smell our dairy air?”

“What?” I asked. “Were you just speaking French?”

I was interrupted by a roar from the crowd as the Badgers scored a touchdown. The boy jumped up in the air in celebration and landed on my foot. As I searched for damage to my vintage P.F. Flyers, the plate of nachos fell from above. The boy snatched it as it passed so close to my face that I could smell the cheddar.

“Cheese,” said the boy, smiling as he stuffed a nacho into his mouth.

Stomach growling, foot throbbing, I watched the lad saunter off spraying nacho crumbs as he sang On Wisconsin. That’s when I noticed my wallet was missing.

I checked the score the next day – Wisconsin 45, Massachusetts 0.

Maybe dairy products are war-like.


Okay, here's a couple of videos I don't know what do with.