Milk Money

I am so selfish that I spend big money on lunch twice a week, thereby taking bread out of the mouths of my family and making it dead concrete certain that the baby will never grow to more than starveling runt-of-the-litter proportions. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I await the happy arrival of the lunch caterer who brings me a giant salad of my choice.  As I wait I have some folding money and some coins jingling around on my person. 

The possibility that a stray two-bit piece may high-dive out of my shirt pocket made me remember that Mom used to scotch-tape my milk money to the top of my Roy Rogers lunch box lest the precious silver (later nickel-copper sandwich alloy) be lost. 

Yes, a thermos bottle came with the lunch pail, but it was cheaper to buy the milk at school, and easier (no cleaning the thermos bottle) and assuredly cold (really, even on the hottest days in the San Joaquin Valley it arrived at the classroom cold!).  Plus the milk came in rectilinear cartons  made of heavy weight paper and coated with paraffin, which you could scrape off the carton just for fun.  This was before the days of milk in plastic jugs, and even before the days of hip-and-gabled milk cartons of plastic-coated card stock.   In those days the cartons had a hole in a corner of the top that was plugged with an elaborately formed and folded and stapled hinged stopper welded in with more paraffin. 

It was primitive, but really we had it good.  When my older brother started school, they were still bringing the cow into the classroom, and you had to pump your own... 

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