And the youngest knocks over a glass of milk.

Down toward me it races like a flood across the land. I jump up and back, but over the edge it pours and I am hit; right trouser leg, but below the knee. It is the third time this meal and the sixth or ninth or thousandth today. My largesse is as nothing next to the cataract of milk she has produced in three short years. And my inventiveness small -she has spilled it backhand, forehand, sidearm and elbow first. She has upset glasses with her head, her feet, her shoulders and knees; with her rump, her belly and the middle of her back. And with endless variety of time and circumstance. Upon thick tablecloths yielding a white swamp which spreads ominously toward us all; or upon plastic tablecloths for a high-velocity attack. (I can remember only one successful escape from milk spilled on plastic. I nearly broke the chair to do it.) And she has spilled it before, during and after meals, by commission and omission, and with enough broken glass to rival the divine scattering of the hoarfrost.

-Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board


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