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Milk Experiment #38: Spilt Milk

Editor's Note: Credit where due: Brandon Smith suggested I reply with "an invented essay on the origin of 'no use crying over spilt milk'" and I obliged.

From: "borneolance1" <bor...@t...>
To: <danfuzz@milk.com>
Subject: milk desaster
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 20:23:50 +0100

One day me and my mum went to asda to get the shoping. My mum told me to go
and get some milk so I got a pint of milk and went to find my mum but I
wasent looking where I was going and I fell over this young girl and the
milk spilled all over the floor and I was so embarissed and I had to go and
tell the shop assistiant and he dident look very happy.#Email-me back
From louise


From: Dan Bornstein <danfuzz@milk.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 17:38:44 -0700 (PDT)
To: "borneolance1" <bor...@t...>
Subject: Re: milk desaster

>I fell over this young girl and the milk spilled all over the floor

Hi, Louise.

You may not already know this, but the scene you found yourself a part of
was very similar to the circumstances surrounding the saying "There's no
use crying over spilt milk." It actually took place in the late 1500s (the
exact year is unknown) in Spain. A girl (perhaps your age) was shopping
with her mother in the open-air markets that were common in that country in
those days. She was supposed to bring back a pail of goat's milk, but she
tripped and fell when a baby crawled beneath her feet while she wasn't
looking. As the story goes, the milk spilt all over the baby, who ended up
getting smothered in it. The girl just sat there and cried, while the baby
drowned in milk. If only she had gone for help, instead of crying, the baby
would have been fine. So, of course, the moral of the story is: Don't cry
over spilt milk.

It sounds like your story didn't have quite the same tragic ending,
thankfully.

All the best,

-dan