Saturday, August 13, 2011

Drinking milk in public

If I'm out and about and really thirsty, if there's one thing I resent doing it's paying more than £1 for a bottle of fruit juice or a Coke. Being vaguely health-conscious I might opt for a bottle of water; it's usually also a little cheaper than juice though I find water boring and unfulfilling. What I usually forget to do, but wish I did more often, is buy a pint of chilled semi-skimmed milk. Not only is it delicious and better for you than fruit juices or Coke (for your teeth and bones anyway), it's about half the price too. So why don't you see people walking around drinking from bottles of milk? It might not have the cool factor of a bottle of water but is there something vaguely unsettling about seeing people drinking dairy in public?

Photographer Mike de Leon thinks so. His series of photos in the latest Vice magazine are of people indulging in PDC (Public Dairy Consumption), a concept he finds 'uncomfortable'. Using posed models consuming a variety of dairy products – cheese, yogurt, milk – there is, perhaps, something vaguely gross about the acts, especially the guy eating a huge wad of cheese. Eating ice cream in public is okay, I guess.

Like George in an old Seinfeld episode eating a tomato on the street and wondering why it couldn't be socially acceptable like it is with an apple, drinking milk in public just isn't really civilised behaviour. Tomatoes are for salads or sandwiches; milk is for cereal or hot beverages.

I know it's not dairy but I had a girlfriend who was grossed out by mayonnaise – not even eating it – just looking at all that white goo made her almost physically sick.

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