Photo: SageElyse (iStock)

These are the facts: NüMilk, a startup that seems to be doing exactly this one thing, is piloting almond milk machines in at least two Whole Foods locations in New Jersey (per VegNews). The machine offers two almond milk options. You can but it in a bottle from the refrigerator portion of the machine (for $3.99). You can also fill an empty bottle with freshly-made almond milk from a dispenser in the machine. It’s like the DIY peanut butter dispensers you find in places like Whole Foods, but for almond milk. Makes sense. If you like almond milk, then this is a way to get very fresh almond milk, poured at one assumes is a glacial pace into an appropriate receptacle. That’s all. End of actual news.

But here I must confess that for whatever reason, this machine exists in my head as a big, hulking thing large enough to contain a human being. That human being’s name is Jared. (Originally Brian, but Takeout E.I.C. Kevin Pang suggested that my fictional almond milk elf is really more of a Jared, and he’s right.) Jared, who used to be a barista at Starbucks but quit when it got too corporate, loves almond milk. Like, he loves it. Humans aren’t supposed to drink milk from cows, did you know that? Oh, you did? He’s going to tell you about it anyway, because well, actually, it’s not our way, that’s just something we’ve been sold by Big Dairy. He saw that NüMilk was hiring and just knew that was what he was meant to do. His job is to sit inside the machine on a tiny little stool and wait for someone to push the almond-milk button. Then he puts down the copy of Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke he’s been rereading, takes off his flip-flops, and stomps almonds like he’s crushing grapes for wine. It takes a long, long time. It’s his favorite thing to talk about on dates.

I have absolutely nothing against almond milk, I swear. I kinda like almond milk. It’s light and the vanilla-flavored kind is good in coffee. But we’ve all got a Jared in our lives, don’t we?