The Big God Damn

Milk Bottle

A Belzer’s milk bottle, of Belzer Dairy Farms Incorporated, appeared in the Los Alamos desert. 900 feet tall, nearly 300 feet wide. The best description? It materialized. However, since no one saw this, a shimmering prestidigitation cannot be accurate. Simply put, one night the bottle was not and one morning the bottle was.

According to official records, Air Force satellite photography spotted the object at 0700 hours. Before that, swarming dragonflies and several black-eyed lizards gave witness. The first human eyes on the bottle were Bill Kipp’s, a closeted technician repairing phone lines. He pulled his pickup over and stared at was supposed to be the vast nothingness of Los Alamos. He twitched his nose, once, twice, picked up his walkie. “There’s seems to be, what looks like, some biggoddamnbottle out here.”

The bottle was an exact replica of the Belzer’s from the 1920’s except bigger. The glass sparkled, beckoned, and Bill Kipp couldn’t tear away. There was no milk. Just the residue, a few gallons, which slowly swirled and curdled through the day. “Big milky love,” he mumbled. He watched until sunset and tanks arrived.

Orange level security, they said. General Berndt watched the milk bottle through binoculars and bit down on his cigar. He scanned the rabble—the lookyloos, TV vans, liberal media—and bit harder. “Belzer’s?” he said, “Isn’t that some Jew company.” Jew Hoax, he thought.

Anthony Tutton, current owner of what was Belzer Dairy Farms Incorporated, looked at the Pennsylvania Gazette glumly. Why Alamos, he thought. Tutton was neither Jewish nor a mastermind, and Belzer’s no longer produced milk but a type of dehydrated cheese dust used on certain potato chips. The bottle was perfect though, rounded and with the logo he remembered from childhood. They sandblasted it onto bottles back then. Tutton thought it was something from Hailwood Farms, another producer of fine cheese-like powders, meant to disgrace. Marvin Hailwood Jr., three states away, thought it was a photoshopped illusion.

Physicist Paul Whiteman, with the President on Air Force One, believed it a divine symbol. The Pope believed it was carved by Masons. The only holy man at the bottle was a televangelist, Gray Irby. He wanted to touch the bottle with his meaty palm and go to paradise. And get checks. And praise Jesus. “Praise Jesus!” The Irby girls sang. Oh, the checks.

The crowds grew to thousands and the National Guard kept them at bay with stony looks and buzz cuts. Everyone said something different. Last Judgment. Aliens. God. Gamma Rays. Bottlecular mutation. Jesus. Hollywood. Terrorists. Kipp licked his lips and pushed forward.

A reporter looked deeply into the camera with the soulful brown eyes she was known for and said, “The divine or the deception? We may never know. Reporting from what’s being called God’s milk bottle, Charlotte Hughes-Alveraz.” Except she didn’t think a thought.

“Hey, Ma,” Pa Kettle yelled from the TV to the kitchen, “God likes milk.”

“Well, of course, he does, Pa,” Ma said.

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