Thursday, November 3, 2005

Lactophobia

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I think everyone has a weird phobia of some kind. I have a couple. I am roach-phobic. I am also “lacto-phobic”. My worst nightmare: finding a roach in a cereal bowl. As a matter of fact, I think that’s where my fear may have begun on both counts. When I was in highschool, I had a bowl of Raisin Bran for breakfast. I was especially hungry that morning, so I went back for seconds. (Bet you know where this is going by now!) I remember it in slow-motion: Me lifting the box. Me opening the box. Me unrolling the wax paper “freshness bag” or whatever it’s called. Me tipping the box so that the cereal begins to fall. One raisin. Two raisins. Three raisins. Me noticing raisin #2 has now flipped upright and is running for the safety of the bran flakes. Me dropping the box, the bowl, and the habit of eating Raisin Bran. I remember the panic when I realized that I’d just eaten out of that very same box, and horror of all horrors, there MAY have been a little more than two scoops of raisins in this particular box.

Well, that little scene caused a whole mess of trouble for me later on in life. I lived in a non-airconditioned dorm in college, and my room was right next to the kitchen. I went to college in L.A. (Lower Alabama) and the roaches there are huge and plentiful. We had the German cockroach (thanks, Germany) to deal with inside, and the dreaded Palmetto bug (horror-movie huge) to contend with outside. And many of the little Palmetto rascals would find their way inside, up the stairs, and into my room.

One weekend my room-mate, my suite-mates and I decided it was time to fog the place. We set up a fogger in each room and stayed the night at a friend’s apartment across town. The next morning we came back to the dorm to find little roach carcasses everywhere. We swept a pile up under the bathroom sink, and there must have been fifty in the bath-tub. But nary a live one in sight. Satisfied, that night I slipped into my night-shirt, ready for bed. I was talking to my room-mate as I was buttoning my shirt, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a black thing on my arm. I immediately went into Daffy Duck mode, hoo-hooing as I danced around the room trying to get my shirt off. My room-mate came to the rescue and squashed the bug. She thought it was funny. She did impressions of me all night. “Look, Val! Who am I? Hoo hoo! Hoo hoo!” Ha ha. ANYWAY, I put on some roach-free garb, and lifted up my blanket to crawl under the covers. Millions upon millions of roaches had found safety under my blanket! Again, frantic screaming. I think I slept standing up that night. Read the can, folks. Remove all bedding and clothing from the room before fogging.

So, on to the milk thing. I just have a few rules I have to follow in order to comfortably drink a glass of milk or enjoy a bowl of cereal. They are:

1.)Never drink the left-over milk from the cereal bowl. (backwash. Ewwww.)

2.)Never drink the leftover backwash milk from anyone else’s cereal bowl.

3.)Never eat cereal at a table full of people who are also eating cereal. (You know that thin white line that you see between the lips of a person eating cereal? I hate that.)

4.)Never let anyone who has just eaten cereal, or any milk product, kiss you.

5.)Always brush your teeth immediately after eating cereal or drinking milk. (Do not let milk-breath happen!)

6.)Do not eat cereal or any milk product while creepy cartoons are on tv.

7.)Do not eat cereal or any milk product while Celebrity Death Match is on tv.

8.)Do not let the milk in your cereal bowl get warm.

9.)If a second bowl of cereal is necessary, then dump out the old milk and pour new milk in. (Always rinse bowl before adding fresh milk, too. You don’t want any residue.)

10.)I remember this one from college: do not smoke after eating cereal or any milk product, and do not ash in an old glass of milk that’s been left on the floor for days (old room-mate of mine, you know who you are!!!)

11.)If anything falls into the milk in your glass (like lint, a cat hair, dust particle) the milk is now RUINED and must be discarded immediately.

12.)This is a biggie: Milk mustaches must be outlawed. And the Dairy Farmers of America need to get rid of the “Got milk?” milk mustache campaign. It’s just plain gross.

13.)Last but not least: milk must be thrown out on the expiration date. I would like to know who started the urban myth that milk is good for a week after the date printed
on the bottle. That person most certainly has NOT had milk plop out of the jug and onto the countertop like a rancid Twizzler when trying to prepare a cup of coffee.

I hate to leave on number 13 because I’m sure I will have to deal with some kind of roachy, milky bad luck thing, but I really could go on all day. Living by these rules is second-nature to me so I was never aware how nuts I am until I read over this. Milk. It does a body good. But it does bad bad things to your brain.

2 comments:

baratron said...

Actually, I used to be paranoid like that about milk. I could only drink milk if it was strongly flavoured with chocolate, and even then it would randomly make me sick. I was also weird about other dairy products - I'd go through stages where I couldn't face eating yogurt at all for months on end, and I could only ever eat cheese if it was melted.

Then, when I was 23 or so, I discovered that the weird occasional upset stomach thing I'd had going on for about a year was in fact lactose intolerance. So I cut right back on the milk and started taking lactase enzyme. And then the weird rash that I've had since the age of 9 suddenly cleared up. It transpires that as well as being quite severely lactose intolerant, I'm also mildly allergic to casein (milk protein). So I can only conclude that my lactophobia had a rational scientific basis.

As you are apparently blonde and white-skinned, I assume you have probably inherited genes that make you lactose tolerant. But perhaps not. Perhaps you should try soy milk, to see whether that makes you feel less icky. US people get the amazing brands of Silk soy milk and Soy Delicious ice cream, both of which are positively orgasmic.

Val said...

I think it's just a psychological thing for me. I think I do actually have lactose intolerance, though, because if I eat dairy I get all bloated and gross feeling.
Am I supposed to be commenting in my own blog? lol This feels odd...

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