I'm really not a big drinker. Seriously. I rarely, if ever, long for lager, pine for port or whine for wine. Gosh, there are so many more things I would rather glug than a pint of Guinness (milk being the most prominent, but more of that later).
And while it's perfectly true that I have never been particularly enamoured of what the Temperance Movement might have referred to as "Satan's Saliva", you mustn't get the impression that I have never been in any way drunk or that I happen to dislike the taste of the booze. Over the course of my time as a grown-up man, I have fallen down on my bottom often from the bevvy; I have also made a fool of myself with shouting and splurting silliness, sung songs under balconies to unsuitable, potty-mouthed young women, made even more questionable choices in relation to evening wear and basically ended up with my tongue stuck to the side of the toilet. Thanks, then, should probably go to my guardian angel for keeping me safe and ensuring that I didn't get a habit for the drink which made a ruin of me, as has been the case with so many otherwise blameless souls.
Thankfully for all concerned, my liquid drug of choice is the aforementioned white beverage, currently right at the centre of the news world, due to dairy farmers being up in udders about the pittance they get for each pint of the white stuff. It's nothing like enough, if you ask me. And I say that because I find milk to be just the loveliest libation on the face of the Earth. I even like it customised. A milk cocktail, if you like. Have you ever tried it banana flavoured? O to the M to the G. It's divine. Like ski-ing down an albino rainbow. Or a big banana. To illustrate the point, I was halfway through a large glass of Nesquik banana milk the other day and it occurred to me that if milk was alcoholic, I would definitely be dependent. In fact, I would be more than that. I would be utterly addicted; a wet-the-bed, growl-at-strangers, dog-on-a-string drunk, rooting through bins for the dregs of some discarded carton of semi-skimmed; just enough to see me off to sleep. I would be found in fields in the country by weary farmers, prone and utterly stupefied under his prize milker (Clover), the dregs of the previous night's pasteurised gorging staining my stubble white and the poor bovine staring down at me, violation in her eyes and cud in her mouth. It's a sad image to conjure up, to be sure. I just pray it never happens to you.
Let's all, then, put our support behind the cows. Thanks to them, milk is a staple of our diets; a cheap and nourishing alternative to pretty much anything. But I would counsel against the dairy farmers being paid too much for their produce. If they start making too much money, they would be able to afford proper security for their fields, to keep the likes of me out.
And that isn't an option.
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