When Alex Koplow, a writer, wanted a bowl of cereal but had no milk, he used some of his roommate's. But what seemed like a typical roommate encounter turned into a hilarious letter and became a viral online sensation when it was posted on Reddit.
"Right about now you might be thinking, 'Hey, what happened to my milk? It looks like somebody opened it and drank some of it," Koplow began the letter to his roommate, Mark. "Well, good intuitions, Mark. You're right. You're a very good problem solver. Somebody did drink your milk. I did."
In the two page letter, Koplow offers a list of reasons for using Mark's milk.
"1. I wanted to eat cereal," he began.
"2. I didn't have any milk of my own."
His reasons became more and more off-the-wall as he continued.
"4. I considered using Scott's instant egg white things, because they kind of look like milk cartons. But ultimately I decided against that because the repercussions wouldn't really be worth it and eggs on cereal? That's silly. I know I'm a great writer, but I'm no Dr. Seuss."
And some excuses were more emotional than others.
"5. You were gone. I missed you. Perhaps drinking your milk was some subconscious, deep-rooted attempt at connecting with you. So asking why I took your milk is probably as unanswerable as asking why the heart does anything."
To make his roommate feel better, Koplow laid on the ever-convincing "at least I didn't drink your beer" excuse.
"I'm well aware that this comes right on the heels of the debacle of me drinking two of your beers while we played Catan the other night," Koplow said. "What an affront to your liquids! You begrudgingly offered those beers to me and I accepted. I also declined a third out of respect for you and your purchases. That third beer, which in some sense I still have claim to, was in the fridge last night. I did NOT drink that. I really considered it..Rock and a hard place, I know. But I did what I thought you would do: sacrifice a little bit of milk to your dear, hungry friend."
Koplow included different options by which he might return the favor.
"How do I plan on compensating you for my milk usage? You may help yourself to one (1) glass of my orange juice," he wrote. "So help yourself to a glass, don't worry about robbing me of my vital nutrients. I will struggle, but survive, hopefully."
"In addition to my generous orange juice offer, you're welcome to have one of my copies of the movie 'Milk.' That was a joke. Doesn't it feel good to laugh again?"
And in conclusion, Koplow thanked his roommate for his unknowing altruism.
"The milk meant more to me than you'll ever know. I appreciate your generosity," he wrote. "You're a giver. It's just in your nature. I love that about you."
A third roommate, Scott, posted the letter on Reddit, where it received more than 15,000 up votes and 800 comments in three days.