Tonight i found myself in the back seat of a car on a traffic-jammed highway on a long trip home, with a belly full of Indian food, trying to tell this story to my compadres. And no matter how many different ways i tried to paint the picture of just exactly what befell me that hot summer day in Salem, OR, i couldn’t make it sound plausible. There was actually dead silence in the car after i got to the punchline and i knew, in that instance, that nobody believed me. i mean, what kind of accident can cause it to rain milk through a sunroof of a parked car??
So, let’s back this train up a bit.
Imagine it: Salem, Oregon. Summer, 2012. Or 2011. No, definitely 2012. i don’t know.
But it was hot. Like, HOT hot. An unusually hot summer for Oregon, and i was working in a nicely air-conditioned office, minding my own business, when i heard brakes squeal, a thump, and then a co-worker yelling, “Oh my god! They just hit that guy!”
We all ran to the windows, and there was a dazed and disheveled man, struggling to get up from under the twisted wreckage of his bicycle that was wrapped up in the grill of a minivan now stopped in our parking lot. He was missing some teeth but i am pretty sure that event occurred well before the current smashup and he looked suspiciously like the same guy i caught passing baggies to a parked car just two days earlier.
Yeah. Rent is CHEAP here in east Salem. i’m just sayin’.
Two young ladies were hysterically fluttering around, flapping their hands like big colorful birds and screeching incoherently. It took a moment before i understood that they actually belonged to the van and weren’t accident victims themselves. Or bicycling meth-man groupies. i walked out the door but before i could really react, they stood him up, pushed him into their van, threw the mangled bicycle in after him, squealed something about taking him to a hospital and drove off.
My concern for the poor, dentally challenged guy and his millennial hit-and-hysteric captors was replaced with curiosity as i saw what looked like spilt milk pooling in the parking lot. Milk? Upon further inspection i found the crushed plastic gallon milk containers on the asphalt near my parked car. Curiouser and curiouser!! As i put them in the recycling bin (like a good Oregonian!!) one of my coworkers said she had seen the guy on his bike moments before the accident hanging on to a gallon of milk in each hand while racing his bike through the parking lots.
Whatevs. Oregon is weird and that part of Salem even weirder.
i hope milk/meth-man is ok! i head back in to finish my shift.
At the end of the long, hot, weird day i head out to my car to drive the one hour home.
The first thing i notice amiss is there seems to be white crusty dried liquid all over the side of my car. Dang! It’s milk! i didn’t see that before…i will have to wash that asap (and by “wash”, i mean pay someone else to do it while i wait inside the business picking out a my favorite “Malibu Breeze” air freshener). i unlock and open the driver’s side door and the next thing i notice (and by “notice” i mean am instantly overcome by the wave of sour milk smell pouring out of my car through the open door making me gag. i may or may not have thrown up in my mouth a little bit. Or a lot.
What in the world???
i look around my car and there appears to be dried milk EVERYWHERE. Crusted and dried on the leather seats. Soaked in to the carpet. Splattered all over the inside of the windows. Dried lines of milk run down the dash and pool in my empty cup holders. i look up. And that’s when i realized i had left my sun roof open when i parked the car on a bazillion degree day and went in to work. For 10 hours.
Waaaaaaaaah! i can’t have nice things!!!!! It seems that when meth-milkman met millennial minivan, the impact exploded the plastic gallons, catapulting the milk up into the air like a couple of proud, white Yellowstone geysers where it then showered back down to earth and into my car via the OPEN SUNROOF.
i didn’t believe it either.
And neither could the dude at the car wash, shaking his head and trying hard not to laugh.
i bought TWO Malibu Breezes that day.