Being a waiter’s waiter was one of the jobs I took during college to make a little extra money. This job is setting up the food for the actual student-waiters in the dining room. This gave me close observation of how the food system worked on campus. One of the funniest characters working there was Leon, whose main job was related to managing the milk supply. Leon was somewhat mentally disabled, but cheerful and very reliable. He took his milk organizing very seriously.
One day, on a whim, I decided to have a little fun with Leon. I was able to get to the milk delivery container before Leon one morning shortly after dawn, adding a few drops of methylene blue dye, known to be safe to ingest. When Leon opened his container, he saw that all the milk was a pale blue. I also sprinkled the area between his office and the delivered milk with a bit of touch powder—potassium perchlorate—which when dry and stepped on, makes a series of crackling noises. Thus, Leon’s day did not start out well, and continued not so well. Seeing Leon perplexing over his blue milk remains one of my mind’s favorite images. Months later, Leon was still talking about the mystery.