The Milkshake

Growing up in a big family, I was used to sharing. When you are forced to constantly share, it can do two things: it can make you more generous or it can make you more sneaky.

I fell into the latter category.

The thing is, it was hard for me as an 8 year old to be sneaky at a restaurant with the milkshake I was told to share with my sister. Everyone was around the table watching, I had no way of running off with the milkshake or offering to split it “evenly” with her into another container.

I looked at the tall narrow milkshake-filled glass. It was served with whipped cream and a cherry on top. There was a straw stuck in the center as well as a spoon off to the side.

Ah, there it was. Opportunity.

I looked at the straw and the spoon and thought for a minute. I pictured taking a bite of the ice cream with the spoon and broke the action down into its various steps. First you take a scoop of ice cream. Then you lift the spoon to your mouth. You insert the small portion of ice cream into your mouth. You lower the spoon back to the ice cream. Repeat.

But what about the straw? If the ice cream was the right consistency, it would easily pass through the plastic tube in a delicious continuous stream from source to destination. No need to waste time scooping. No need to portion out small bites. Indeed, using the straw, the entire milkshake became one portion.

“Here Margaret,” I said to my unwitting younger sister, “You can use the spoon I’ll just take the straw.”

It was not until a few hours later that I discovered I was lactose intolerant. My greed was well rewarded.

(C) 2021 Barbara Gray – no content may be used or reproduced without permission of the author.