The Milk Revolution

A rebel without a straw.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling I had on my first day of college. I arrived, I unpacked, and we freshmen and our families gathered for a short assembly. Then, seemingly all at once, our parents drove away. No one actually yawped out a William Wallace-style “FREEEEDOMMMM!” but the mood was there.

We were free to explore, to rebel, to indulge. And by “we,” I mean “a large portion of the De Sales University Class of 1999 that didn’t include Tom Coombe.”

While other freshmen were drinking, staying up all night on the new-to-most-of-us Internet, and consuming drugs on a scale that would worry Hunter S. Thompson circa 1971, I was venturing into the realm of 2 percent milk.

Yes, that’s how I went wild: Casting off the watery skim milk I’d grown up drinking, in favor of the more fattening, more flavorful 2 percent. It’s possibly the lamest college rebellion story ever. Some kids reject their parents’ religion or politics; I rejected their dairy products.

But while the 18-year-old who announces he’s a Communist at Thanksgiving might turn into the 45-year-old slapping a “Gingrich 2012” sticker on his SUV, I’ve never turned my back on the revolution. When I taste skim milk today, I only taste oppression. Well, that and a rather disgusting beverage. I mean, really — it’s just like water with white food coloring.

Article © 2010 by Tom Coombe