Please rinse and return your milkman

My daughter, when younger and into reading anything she could lay her hands on, once collapsed in a heap of mirth after mis-reading the recycling message impressed on our glass milk bottles. I wondered how I’d cope if they really had omitted that little word ‘to’.

‘Please rinse and return your milkman,’
Said the bottle. Well, that’ll be fun!
I was thinking the day before yesterday,
It’s a long time since last he was done.

And milkmen do really need rinsing:
Their job is all work and no play,
Exposed to the foulest of weathers
And picking up empties all day.

The problem is, how should I rinse him?
Do I creep up behind him and hose him,
Or sponge him all over with water?
I’d better ask someone who knows him.

I’ll ring up my neighbour and check
What she thinks might be worth trying out.
“Oh, you don’t need to worry,” she answered,
I’ve rinsed him – he’s just drying out.”

[Image from Nine Shift]
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