Look, seriously, at first glance, what would you say this was?
No, no – not even just at first glance. I’ll allow you a good, long stare, and also tell you that it is found in the dairy section of the supermarket.
The first time I threw it into my basket, I didn’t even think about it, as it was so clearly, evidently, and obviously a carton of milk. It even has a little picture of a milk jug on the front! Never mind the fact that it was also surrounded by lots of similar cartons of different colours, as one is accustomed to seeing in supermarket dairy sections.
I did notice that it glugged rather… gluggily, for want of a better word, when I poured some on to my cornflakes, but as I currently exist in a dreamlike, semi-conscious state due to minor difficulties with adjusting to the concept of getting up before sunrise, I didn’t have the energy to process this observation. Not until I took the first spoonful of said cornflakes, that is, and promptly spat them out in abject horror.
I checked the expiry date, which was fine, so I could only assume that the packaging had been damaged or something, because the milk was no longer fit to be called milk and I had to go without breakfast that day.
Bought a replacement one on the way home from work, and, like Bill Murray, I found myself having the exact same experience the following morning.
It was only when I was mentally composing a strongly-worded letter of complaint to Lidl that I recalled the slightly gluggier glug of the milk, and poured some into a glass to investigate. I discovered that it had more of the texture of yogurt. I tried an experimental sip and nearly threw up in the kitchen. No… not yogurt.
I have no idea what the hell this vile trick milk is, or what on earth it could possibly be for, but obviously I then inspected the cartons at the supermarket more carefully, and discovered that the word for milk actually looks vaguely similar to the English word. Hurrah! I successfully purchased Normal Milk three times in a row.
So why, WHY have I just done the exact same thing again? Pour milk on cornflakes, have vague, fuzzy, sleepy thought about gluggier gluggishness of the glug, dismiss thought, taste cornflakes, spit cornflakes everywhere.
I mean… this is meant to be the definition of insanity, isn’t it? Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I am extremely tired. But why, why, WHY do they keep this vile and horrific liquid in the middle of all the nice, normal milk, deceptively dressed in an almost identical outfit? Buying milk is one of those things you’re not even really thinking about – you’re not reading labels, especially when they’re in a language you don’t know. Your brain sees the familiar cartons, reminds your hand that you need some of that, and sends it out to quickly grab a carton and drop it into the basket. It’s not even a conscious process, for me. I now realise that it will have to become one.
And also, who the hell is buying cartons full of stuff that literally tastes like milk that’s gone off? What are they using it for? And why? Honestly, my mind is boggling.
[UPDATE: finally bothered to put it into Google Translate. Result? “Acid buttermilk”. That’s ACID BUTTERMILK, for those who missed it. ACID. BUTTERMILK. I’m sorry, but my who, what, and why still stand, and I’ll throw in a how as well.]