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"Daddy," Stephen said, his voice starting to break on the other end of the line. He was only three and a half years old but the pain in his voice was unmistakable and pure, the way it always tends to be with children of a young age. "My cereal... milk... I need milk..."
I knew then that this was a serious matter. I'd been there before myself. A victim of an unfortunate circumstance decades prior where the last bit of Cinnamon Toast Crunch I had poured myself had been tainted by the last bit of milk we had left in the house. Milk that had turned nearly three days prior. I realized it after the second spoonful, tasting what seemed to me like a mixture of old, sharp cheese and cinnamon toast.
It didn't help matters either to picture myself pouring the last of the milk into my coffee that morning without a second thought. I was usually good about things like that, leaving enough of something in particular for those still in the house when I left for work every morning. But that morning, the call of milk for my coffee was too great.
I gripped the phone tightly, the work in front of me long forgotten. I knew I'd have to make a stop at the supermarket on the way home. How much time did I have to wipe away the grief from his undeniably broken heart? I figured I had about an hour, maybe fifty minutes if I left right then and there.
"I'll get you your milk, Stephen." I said. "I'll get you your milk. You can count on it."
I heard him sniffle once or twice before he handed the phone back to my wife. I knew what she was going to say just as much as I had already known what it was that I had to do.
I had to make things right.
I stepped off the subway nearly two hours later. A normal day would've guaranteed no more than an hour long ride to get home but I didn't take the blizzard we had just been socked with into account. I spent at least twenty minutes at Times Square with another forty minutes added to the ride at 96th Street. The veins in my temple were throbbing as I walked into the supermarket, flurries of snow falling from my hair and shoulders. The place was a disaster. I saw two women to my left fighting over a length of kielbasa, venom spitting from their mouths in hushed tones. I uttered a silent prayer, hoping I wouldn't find the same sort of scene in the dairy section. I turned into the cool air of the dairy aisle and stopped in my tracks when I saw that there was no milk left.
Up until then, I'd never experienced those moments you see in the movies, the ones where all the sound goes out, replaced by only a thudding heartbeat and a high pitched tone that sounds like someone just flatlined in the ER, another recently departed poor soul in a history of departed poor souls. But right then I did. I knew I'd be able to go to a local bodega and get a gallon of milk there but there was something in that moment that defeated me. Old memories flared up and for a moment, strange yet almost comforting in its familiarity, I could taste the rancid, sour sweet taste of dead milk in the back of my throat. The image of me dropping to my knees and screaming up at the ceiling filled my mind and seemed to be in my immediate future when a flash of movement from the rear of the store caught my eye, stopping all train of thought.
A flash of white color.
I started moving through the aisle, pushing past an old man trying to make sense of the day's offerings in the circular. The man I saw emerge from the back of the supermarket was wearing a white butcher's coat, stained with long dried blood from the day's work. I felt a sense of disappointment, believing that I'd fallen victim to my own hopes, that is, until I looked down. He was pushing a hand truck, loaded with crates of fresh Tuscan milk stacked on top of one another.
Sound rushed back into my world, the sound of my heartbeat retreating to the back of the auditorium that was my everyday world. I didn't exactly storm over to him but my footsteps thudded on the ground, footsteps of a man with a mission.
I yanked a gallon out of the crate by the handle, feeling the ice cold milk inside greet me with its coolness. I knew what it would taste like because I'd had it before, not just once but many times over the course of my life. It was the perfect thing to add to a bowl of cereal and better yet, it was still fresh with at least another week and a half to go before it would turn. More than enough time to get home to my son so he could have his cereal in the proper fashion. With good old fashioned, vitamin D laced milk.
"Thank you," I said to the man in the white coat, patting him on the back and ending it with a hearty squeeze of the shoulder. "Thank you." He stood there, not really knowing what to say for a moment before beginning to restock the milk section. He never took his eyes from me but I think he knew. He knew that there was more at stake here than what it looked like. The milk wasn't for me and he knew that. Maybe he had a boy of his own, maybe not. But he knew.
On the way home, I felt a sense of relief. I'd gotten Stephen his milk and the people at Tuscan would be happy to know that they helped a little boy get the smile on his face back. I smiled.
Above, the snow continued to fall from the sky. Somewhere a dog barked and somewhere else a car horn tooted away. It all sounded like music to my cold ears.
You know it's Christmas (or some other break away from the grind of school) when I start reading and reviewing political screeds! The controversial conservative talking head Ann Coulter is someone I've wanted to read for a long time. I checked out a few of her relatively short articles on the Internet, but not enough to get a real feel for her sarcastic writing style. I passed on "Slander" and "Treason," choosing instead to peruse her latest work "How to Talk to a Liberal." I think reading this book was a good choice for an introduction to her worldview. It's a compilation of her articles on various topics dating back to the 1990s, touching on everything from the pernicious lying at the New York Times, the Clintons, gun control, drug legalization, activist judges, CBS news, the 2000 Election imbroglio, feminism, Teddy Kennedy, terrorism, Elian Gonzalez, the Confederate flag, race, John Kerry, and just about any other issue of concern to both liberals and conservatives over the last ten to fifteen years. If you've ever seen Ann Coulter tearing it up on the television talk shows, you know what you're in for with "How to Talk to a Liberal." Terms like "polemicist" apply in spades here.
And thank goodness someone like Coulter finally came along. For far too long we've had to sit by while kooks like James Carville, Paul Begala, the entire editorial staff at the New York Times, and dozens of other card carrying members of the American Left debase the public forums. Yes, I'm saying Coulter goes over the top, but I'm also saying, "Who cares?" I agree wholeheartedly with her assertion that conservatives unfortunately strive to earn the Left's approval no matter what the cost. Late stage democracy simply doesn't abide such quaint, antiquated concepts like personal integrity or public virtue--which explains why Clinton served two terms in the White House--so the conservatives might as well get down in the gutter and bellow with the best of them if republicans want the public to hear their opinions over the babble. Coulter says as much in the introduction to the book, a lengthy list of what one should do when confronted with a member of the leftist species: don't back down in a fight, don't give up before the argument even begins, make every effort to outrage liberals and leftists, don't be defensive, never apologize for anything, never compliment a Democrat or play nice with them, and do not allow liberals to bribe you into joining their cause.
The introduction is a smorgasbord of pithiness, sort of a rapid fire version of Ann Coulter whittled down to a few pages, but the real joy are the dozens and dozens of articles that follow. Never afraid of calling it like she sees it, the author blasts our lovable left-wingers every chance she gets. You want to talk about Ted Kennedy? Ann does, bringing up again and again his failure to open a car door for a lady at Chappaquiddick, his penchant for drinking, and his rapid removal from college for cheating on a Spanish test. Best Kennedy rebuke? Ann imagines herself at a confirmation hearing responding to an inquiry from the senator with, "We'll drive off the side of that bridge when we come to it, Senator Kennedy." Ouch! Of course, none of these comments would be necessary if the good senator from Massachusetts quit trying to set himself up as the irreproachable voice of the Democratic Party. To be fair, I think Coulter goes overboard with the frequent references to Kennedy's well-known love for liquor since he supposedly quit the sauce a few years ago, but that is really beside the point according to the author. Liberals refuse to play fair, so why should conservatives persistently take the high ground only to fall prey to the Left's scurrilous attacks? Call her what you will, but at least she's up front about where she stands.
Coulter's primary target of attacks is the New York Times. We all know how secondary and tertiary newspapers and television stations rely on the Times for their news leads. We also know the Times is so biased toward the left that it barely qualifies as journalism let alone as an independent news organization. Jayson Blair, anyone? You remember him: he was the Times reporter that sat in a bar somewhere in New York City all day inventing his stories. The newspaper, afraid to fire him because of his race, printed retraction after retraction while they shifted him around to different departments. When the story finally broke in the national news, the New York Times tried to shrug the whole thing off. Coulter reminds us how the Blair incident constitutes only one small part of a larger, more dangerous ethical quandary faced by a newspaper proclaiming to be an unbiased source of information. She exposes the left-wing partiality at the Times repeatedly, proving how the paper unswervingly supports radical social, political, and economic positions near and dear to lefty hearts. I wondered if it was a joke that a blurb from the New York Times on the back cover of the book said, "A great deal of research supports Ms. Coulter's wisecracks." Do you think the paper fired the employee who wrote that comment?
Every conservative or libertarian, and even political moderates for that matter, should enjoy the articles contained in this book. You definitely don't even need to be a diehard right-winger to giggle over Coulter's acerbic witticisms, just someone tired of listening to the same "progressive" drivel day after day. I think I may yet get around to reading "Slander" and "Treason" if they share in any way, shape, or form the keen insights and amusing quips found in this book.
There are times in your life when you read something and it just rings true for you. No hype, just the facts staring you right in the face- a moment of truth; Will you take control of your diet and your health, or will you stay in the same habituation that led to your health concerns and decline? If you are ready to regain vibrant radiant health, and get down to business, this is the unequivocal best Road Map to do it!!! The Body Ecology Diet changed my life, my 5 year bout with adult Rosacea, and terribly challenged digestive system. I have experienced tremendous improvements in well being that are directly related to information I learned in this book!!! Highly recommended!!