Smell of the week

Milk That’s Almost Gone Bad, But Not Quite Smell

I go in stages with my milk usage. Sometimes I drink more of it because I’m on a milkshake kick or I’m mixing it with my protein (due to my vegetarian status) instead of water. Other times, I’m just using it on my cereal. Either way, I generally try not to think about milk that much because -- not sure if you’re aware of this -- milk is a white substance that comes from a cow’s utters and is often made even more disgusting than that through various processes it endures on the way to the supermarket. I almost threw-up just writing that. Nevertheless, the inconsistency of my milk intake frequently leaves me with a dilemma: How much milk do I buy?

What usually ends up happening is this: I end up buying a whole gallon of milk. Then I get home and realize that there’s still a half-gallon left in the refrigerator. My wife rolls her eyes and tells me she told me we didn’t need milk and emphatically warns me that I better not waste any. Then when she is not home I dump out the old milk in the sink and hope she doesn’t notice. This is called: married life. (Btw: she always notices.)

Occasionally we have a back-and-forth where I will take out the old milk, open the cap, smell it, make a face, use the clichéd Chappelle line that “the milk’s gone bad, bitches!” and implore my wife to smell it for herself. Then she’ll take a whiff, then another, and then she’ll tell me that the milk is fine. And I’ll be like, “Then why’d you smell it twice?” and she’ll be like, “’Cause I wanted to make sure!” and I’ll be like, “If there’s any doubt, throw it out!” and then she’ll give me “the look” and I’ll put it back in the fridge.

(It should be mentioned that my wife is the same person who, when handed a loaf of moldy bread, will cut out the mold and use the rest. This is obviously unacceptable.)

If it were up to me, milk would be disposed of the second it starts to cake up near the cap, and you start getting those dried up milky flakes accidentally mixed in with your cereal. Man, I hate that. But that would be wasteful. We truly arrive at a crossroads when the milk begins to smell…but not bad enough.

Milk should be, essentially, odorless. But it does begin to acquire a smell the closer it gets to its expiration date. That smell can best be described as: the faint smell of sour milk. It’s a warning sign, really. Sometimes I even imagine that the milk is speaking to me through the smell, and it echoes: Hello-ello-ello! Be careful-areful-areful! The really strange thing -- besides that last sentence -- is that this smell has absolutely no effect on the taste. The milk is still delicious. But you wonder how much longer it will stay delicious.

It is up to the individual how long he or she is willing to take the risk. Personally, I don’t mess with milk. Once I encounter Milk That’s Almost Gone Bad But Not Quite Smell, I’ll give it another day or two at best. However, after all this talk about milk, I am fairly certain that I'm just going to give it up altogether. I am going to throw up.

The defect in this one is Milk That's Almost Gone Bad But Not Quite Smell.