Background: I was once told that it is nearly impossible to drink a full gallon of milk in one hour. It didn't sound too hard to me; after all, I will quite often drink a full half gallon of milk with dinner. I once gave it a try in Wisconsin, but things didn't quite work out. I probably had a glass or two left before I threw up. This story describes a recent second attempt.

Author's Note: To experience this story to its full effect, you should imagine the guy from "NFL Films Presents" doing a voice over of a movie featuring me in my living room and kitchen, complete with slow-motion action shots (pouring and drinking milk, mostly). And if you've never seen an episode of "NFL Films Presents" shame on you!

True Grit

I decided togive it another go this weekend. On Saturday, I came up with a gameplan that I thought would be flawless, and put it into action on Sunday. The plan was basically to do nothing all day before trying the drinking attempt. No food, no water, go with fat-free skim milk. I didn't even go to the bathroom all day. Use a large glass, and try to keep a steady pace. In the morning, I stopped by my office to get my large plastic mug, which I thought was 24 ounces. 1 gallon of milk is 128 ounces. Assuming I filled the mug about 90% full, I figured one mug every 10 minutes would do the trick. By 3:00 I had psyched myself in preparation for what was going to be my moment of glory. I vowed to give 110%, leave it all on the floor, take it one glass at a time; the full array of meaingless sports sayings. After two glasses, I finally "broke the seal", figuring this would really get things flowing later down the line (if you know what I mean). Only 5 minutes in and I was already 1/3 of the way done. I could taste victory, and my did it taste... milky.

I can admit it now: I got cocky. I didn't want to pace myself; I was the greatest milk drinker the world had ever seen! Another mug in 10 minutes. Half way done and I still had 2/3's of the time. The next mug went even slower, but I felt like I was giving myself plenty of time. Two mugs to go, and 25 minutes. I decided to pace myself from there on out. One mug in 12.5 minutes, the other in the remaining time.

Then, disaster. I poured what was to be my next to last mug, and took a look at my milk carton. There still seemed to be an awful lot of milk in there. I quickly transferred the contents of my full mug to other glasses, and refilled my mug again. Had things gone according to plan, that should have emptied the carton. But alas, no. There was still a full mug and change in the carton.

I was wrong! My mug was only 20 ounces, not 24! Seven glasses, not 6! Fear gripped my heart, its icy fingers sending chills up and down my spine. Though my belly felt like it was going to burst, I rallied myself: there was still time. "You're only 4/7s of the way done, but you've only used 4/7's of the time. You can do this! One mug every 8 minutes. Focus!"

The next mug went down as planned. Getting up, I walked toward my refrigerator with dread. I steeled myself: "You have come this far, now seal the deal!"

But I couldn't do it. I made a detour to the bathroom.

I left it all on the floor, alright.