Posted by: charityliz | August 4, 2010

The faulty milk carton

My bike has been my new best friend lately! She gets on the train with me in the morning, and then gets me to work in a fraction of the time when we get off the train. And then she gives me that fun ride back to the train at the end of the day –a real chance to decompress with the city breeze in my face and complete freedom from all the traffic around me. And on weekends, she gets me around town—quite a bit.

She is great.

She doesn’t have a name…but she does have a basket!   This is a story about her.

So I rode my bike to Trader Joe’s last Sunday. I love this new ride I’ve discovered. Instead of taking a straight shot down what I believe to be the busiest street in the county (El Camino Real), I meander through the cute little tree lined streets that make up the neighborhoods a few blocks over from El Camino. I arrive at Trader Joe’s just fine and begin my usual shopping routine—which typically consists of a lot of greek yogurt, bananas, eggs, chocolate chips, sparkling water, spinach, black beans, tortillas, coffee, whatever looks good for dinner—and this week, a special purchase for my friend Janai that’s coming to stay. She really likes milk, which I rarely drink, but I decided it was a staple for Janai, so as the hostess I was happy to get some.

In all my excitement with remembering the milk, it wasn’t until I was checking out that I remembered I rode my bike and all this stuff needed to fit in my basket! I was relieved to see that everything fit in my trusty cloth shopping  bag (a good sign).  When I got to my bike I discovered that  the bag did fit in the basket! Well—sort of. I decided that it just needed a bit of a shove to make sure it was really in there. So, being careful not to mush the eggs, I firmly shove that bag down and, Vuoala! It’s all in there and I’m ready to ride. A few minutes into my ride (which I’m quite enjoying, with the warm summer breeze and sun on my face), I start realizing that I keep feeling drips on my leg. The first several drips I just figured were splash back from tiny puddles that I must have been riding through without really noticing. But then I finally realized that there are no puddles and I looked down to find that there was a steady drip of white stuff coming from my bag.

“Dang it”, I thought, “they gave me a faulty milk carton!”

So I quickly turned around, determined to take that milk carton back for an exchange! By the time I get to Trader Joe’s, it really looks like I have a drip system coming out of my bag. So I yank the milk carton out, and the drip turns into a stream of milk squirting over my bike. And instead of a faulty carton, I discover an obvious puncture at the bottom of the carton, about the diameter of a pencil! Hmmmm…exactly the same size as that metal bar at the bottom of my basket. Oops–mabe I shoved that grocery bag in a little too hard.  So needless to say, I didn’t go back to return the “faulty carton”. I thought about buying some more milk for Janai, but by that point, I feared something else would happen if I stuffed that basket full again—like crushed eggs or something.

So I don’t really have a moral to this story, except to realize that bikes are great, but they do have their limits…and so do milk cartons.



  1. i love it. but i think your bike needs a name…. maybe something souther’n.

    • I totally agree and I almost named her something just for this blog, but really couldn’t come up with anything fitting or clever enough. ideas?

  2. You have your father’s “touch.” I knew it!

  3. hahaha i love this story, charity! sounds like something that would happen to me!!! btw, i love riding bikes, too!! something about it brings me back to being a kid again!! when life was so carefree and simple! thats why our wedding is a bicycle-themed!! bikes are fun, whimsical, carefree, summery and light-hearted! which is exactly how jeff and i want our wedding to be!

    • You are so cute ilene! I love the bicycle theme…your invitations were adorable and I can’t wait to see the rest at the wedding!

  4. Nice! So glad you decided to post it… of course I had video image of you telling it in my head…. even betta!

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