Milk Carton Universe (Chapter Two)

NETA LAUNCHED into an unprovoked sermon about the basics of food safety which took a confusing turn into a tangled mess of theoretical physics. Players seated nearby overheard and, within moments, the south end of the bingo hall had erupted into a frenzy. 

An elderly gentleman with hair like snow pulled out a phone. To Max, he said, “Sir, if you tell me your home address, I can phone the details of your emergency to the property authorities.” 

A rotund woman with a flashy wig fainted. 

Others swapped dairy related horror stories excitedly, none of which made any sense. 

Max stared at the gentleman who was waiting for his address with phone in hand. Has expired food ever been this big of a deal? 

Neta shook his arm. “Oh, I don’t remember your street address! Tell him!” 

Overwhelmed and confused, Max pushed to his feet and blurted, “I will!” 

An attentive hush fell over the hall.  

Neta blinked, clutching her chest. “You will what, dear?” 

Max sucked in air, face beginning to burn under the scrutiny. 

I’m going to leave because I don’t know why everyone is acting like this or if this is some kind of weird joke, and I guess I’ll just go home to throw away the soy milk because I’m definitely NOT calling the cops because that’s ridiculous. 

But he couldn’t say that. 

But I have to say something. 

Clearing his throat, Max announced to his grandmother, and therefore to the rest of the bingo hall, that he grasped the importance of the situation (he didn’t) and that he would alert the proper authorities (not a chance) and see to it that health and goodness prevailed (or something)


Max sweated nervously. 

Someone whistled which was followed by a thunderous applause. Neta pulled him down by the elbow to plant a kiss on his cheek. 

“Thank you,” she mouthed, watery eyes shining.  

Smiling, Max tried not to feel guilty. I have no idea what’s going on. 



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