Monday, January 11, 2010

Milk Maids

According to Wikipedia, on this day in 1878, milk was first delivered in bottles. Before this, customers were supplied on a personal basis by wandering milk maids.

As you can see from the accompanying illustration, milk maids all wore yokes across their shoulders, from each end of which hung a milk churn. The modus operandi was relatively simple: At roughly the same time each day, customers would pour their Cornflakes into a bowl, or their tea into a cup, and then wait until the milkmaid arrived to fill them up.

Traditionally, a milk maid’s right-hand churn contained full fat milk, while the left was filled with skimmed. Of course, this meant that if you wanted semi-skimmed or UHT, you were a bit fucked. Unless, of course, the milk maid herself was lactating and could produce to order from her left or right breast. Most couldn’t, however (the best they could manage was a sort of homgeonized goo), which is presumably why milk maids gave way to home-delivered milk bottles.

Notwithstanding this, I imagine that January 11, 1878 must have come as quite a shock to many full-fat and skimmed aficionados. Expecting the usual comely, smiling wench to come by, many were dismayed by the arrival of a hairy-arsed milk man, even if he was able to offer greater choice and could diversify into butter, orange juice, and bread deliveries. This is because, back then (and even today, to some extent, if all those Internet porn sites are to be believed) men customarily fantasized about milk maids. Consequently their only alternative was to give up on milk altogether and switch to soya, or else start fantasizing about the milk man, instead. Many did. This is how come we can accurately date the advent of homosexuality to this day in 1878, too.

Another problem with milk bottles was that they were responsible for an upsurge in burglaries. If you forgot to cancel your milk, it was obvious you were away from the accumulation of unused bottles outside your door, so robbers would know it was safe to ransack the place. And while, beforehand, it was equally obvious that you were away when half a dozen unused milk maids starting piling up outside your front door, thieves were far less likely to break in because the presence of the wenches would act as a reliable deterrent.

Especially if they were lactating UHT.

3 comments:

Ron Broxted said...

As a former historian I must take exception to your stating that gayness dates from 1878. Not that early. The first reference is 2008 "I went to my hair artiste Alessandro...real name Wayne...to get my locks shorn".

Joe Slavko said...

Co-incidentally, my hair artiste is named Alessandro. I, however, as everyone knows, am resolutely heterosexual. Unlike, for example, people with 48 inch chests who go on Gay Pride marches.

Ron Broxted said...

Correction.People with 48 inch chest who provide security for gay pride marches. "So theres Ron Broxted, Gandhi, M.L.King and they're standing about heaven ..."