Apartment Dweller Woes

This memory was dredged up by https://www.aboveaverage.com/watch/above-average-presents/everyones-upstairs-neighbors/

One day I was sitting in my 2nd-floor apartment in a multi-family home. I was the meat of the apartment sandwich: a family below me, and a family above me. The house was owned by our very good friend Val Scott Barker.

One Saturday afternoon I was quietly reading at home when a tremendous crash echoed from upstairs. I, like so many apartment dwellers before me, stood under the source of the sound for a long moment and wondered just what exactly happened up there.

My wonder only increased when several minutes later the ceiling fan in the middle of the room started dripping a whitish fluid. Inspection was inconclusive because it was tinged reddish-brown. Had they killed someone with a can of white paint up there? The lamp had a steady stream for a short while, and dripped for almost an hour; I caught it in a small cup. Upon further inspection it appeared to be milk that had picked up dirt from between the floors.

Several days later the mystery was put to bed when I talked to one of the occupants. Their toddler wanted something on a high shelf in the fridge, and had pulled an entire shelf out — one that included a full gallon of milk. Most of the milk disappeared into the hardwood floor before she could clean it up.

We moved out a couple of years later, into a house of our own. Bill and Laura had created a second small adorable child, but they never topped the milk pouring out of the ceiling while I was there.

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