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As The World Churns

I was thinking about butter the other day.

And not just butter, but things in general.  But mainly butter.  Butter, as it often does, started the thought process.

How did we get butter?  I mean, sure, it seems like an obvious thing nowadays, but centuries ago some guy or gal had to make the first batch of butter, and like many things on this wonderful planet, I don't understand how it could have first come about.

To get a solid grasp on how butter is made, I did a couple searches on Google.  Basically, it's like I thought:

Step One:  Get milk from some big, smelly animal, like a cow or Chris Penn.

Step Two:  Let it sit for a couple hours, until the cream separates from the milk.  DO IT!

Step Three:  Take the cream and churn it for, like, a really long time.  At the very least, a half-hour, at the most, like, a week or so.  You have no life anyway, admit it.

Voila.  Butter.  There's a little more to it, like separating the buttermilk and creating marketing synergy and whatnot, but that's mainly it.  And please, for the love of God, don't send me an e-mail fully explaining the process of making butter.  I'm not entirely interested in the finer nuances of butter-making;  my main concern here is how someone came up with the concept in the first place.

Step One I can understand.  Get milk from a big disgusting animal.  Someone probably noticed baby animals drinking milk from the Mommy animals, and thought, "Hey, I'm gonna get me some of that to drink, too.  No little baby animal is gonna be drinking stuff that I could be drinking instead."  This is not a generalization, this is exactly what they thought.

Step Two, letting the milk sit, sure, I can see how that happens.  You bring the milk in, you put it down for a while, possibly because you're preoccupied with something, such as chopping firewood, shunning your children, crapping in the street, fending off dinosaurs, or whatever else people in olden times used to do.

It's Step Three that gets me.  The whole churning thing.  Here's the conversation I picture:

Person:  "Hey, lookit.  The cream separated.  What should we do with it?"

Other Person:  "I dunno.  Maybe, uh... maybe I'll churn it or something."

Person:  "A-ight."

Fine, so, someone decided to churn it.  I guess I can accept that.  Maybe they tried other things, like mashing it with a hammer, rubbing it on themselves or others, smoking it, reading stories to it, and a multitude of other applications with a discernable lack of success.  Gotta get around to churning eventually.

But it's not like you can just churn it for five minutes and get butter.  You have to churn it for a while, a really long while.

Person:  "It's been twenty minutes.  Anything happen?  With the churning?"

Other Person:  "Nope."

Person:  "What now?  Should we try planting it?  Or maybe worshipping it?  Should we trade it to the Sumerians or the Hittites or the Mohawks, or whatever people are around in these olden days, whenever they are?"

Other Person (with crazy look in his eyes):  "No... no.  I... I think... I think I'm gonna keep churning it."

Person:  "Whatever, dawg."

That's what gets me.  He keeps churning!  Why?  What would keep you churning when nothing seems to be happening?  Whatever the reason, he got butter.

It all seems so random, and really, who knows what other cool stuff hasn't been discovered yet?  Like, say I take a bunch of carrots, put them in a sack, and swing 'em around over my head.  Who knows what might happen?  They might turn into gold!  You don't know!  No one has tried!  And, say I swing them for twenty minutes, and nothing happens... doesn't mean I should stop!  Maybe it requires me to swing them over my head for sixteen hours.  We just don't know.

And why not apply churning to everything else?  Ever churn grass?  How about Q-Tips?  I didn't think so.  Maybe you get something wonderful if you churn salt or mittens or Peter Graves.  How about puppies?  Can you honestly tell me you've churned puppies?  For over an hour?  You'd figure you'd just get a lot of dead, churned puppies, but you might get something cool, like a motorcycle or heat-vision.

There's no end to the things we haven't tried.  Maybe keeping acorns in your nostrils for six days will make you irresistible to women!  Maybe hopping up and down on a plate of oatmeal all night will cure baldness.  Maybe if you visit this website daily, articles of an intelligent and worthwhile nature will appear!

Try it!  You never know!