Life of Hardin in Paraguay

Laugh as you travel through life with Josh Hardin.

Location: Spring Hill, TN, United States

Josh Hardin began writing in high school and published his first novel when he was twenty-two. He won an EPPIE award for his mystery novel "The Pride of Peacock." His non-fiction work includes "The Prayer of Faith", a book aimed at making personal prayers both powerful and effective. He has traveled widely and taught a summer philosophy course at the International University in Vienna. Hardin grew up in Tennessee and moved to Paraguay in 2006. He moved back to Tennessee in 2008.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Life of Hardin Vol. IV, No. 26

Does a Body Good

It’s funny, the things you take for granted when you do without them for a while. Usually it’s a little thing. Take, for instance, milk. I love milk. I used to drink milk like some people drink water. I could go through a gallon myself in a couple of days. Strong bones. Strong teeth. Good for you.

Now I’m not talking about that skim milk mess. That is not milk. It’s nothing more than white colored water. I’m at least halfway convinced they just fill the jug from the tap and add a little white coloring, then make a fortune off of it. You won’t find any calves drinking that watery knock-off. They’d spew it from their mouths. No, I’m talking about good ol’ two percent. Real cow juice. Stuff that coats as it goes down. Sticks to the glass. Got enough body to it to wash down about anything. I can’t see how we don’t have more choking deaths each year, people trying to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and washing them down with skim. It’s a health hazard.

It’s also funny the little things that really get under your skin. Those little things that are okay at first, but they’re just ever so slightly different. After a while they just drive you completely mad. Take, for instance, milk. The milk situation in Paraguay is in a sad state of affairs. First off, there is no two percent. You have a choice of whole, or skim. Now I am not against whole, but I can’t drink it often. It’s a treat once in a while, when there’s a swallow left after making ice cream. And my views on skim have already been made public.

Second--and this is the worst part--the milk does not come in a jug. It comes in bags. Bags! One liter bags. You have to cut the top corners of the bags and pour them into a pitcher. I can go through a liter by myself in a day if the urge hits me. I am sick of pouring a new bag ever time I turn around. I don’t want to have to clip the edges of a sack of milk every time I want a drink. I want to peel off that little plastic rim, take off the top and drink.

I am not sure why they insist on putting the milk in bags. My only guess is that a bag is closer to an udder and makes you think the milk is fresher. They even have big, huge billboard advertisements with cows on them, standing up showing their udders. The caption reads: “The most fun part of the cow.” (I have recreated the advertisement below. Really. This is exactly what they look like.)

I like milk, but I am not ready to belly up to an udder. That may be fine for young cows, but not for me. I just am not to that point. Nor do I want to have that sensation, which is the only good reason for these udder-bags. I do not want my milk straight from an udder. I do not want the sensation of having my milk straight from an udder. Although it may very well be the most fun part of a cow, I do not want the chore of milking an udder (or an udder-bag) every time I eat a chocolate chip cookie, or a piece of chocolate cake, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I just want my milk in a nice, two gallon plastic jug. It’s just a small thing. But you know how these small things can wear on you.


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