On January 8th, New York‘s “Vulture” page ran a short piece about how “I drink your milkshake” (the Daniel Day Lewis line in There Will be Blood) had become a sort-of goof-off phrase that people were kicking around in bars, parties and ticket-buying lines.

On January 9th I wrote two milkshake items, one of them urging Paramount Vantage marketers to use this as a marketing hook (“get on the milkshake train!”). Some were writing even then that the milkshake thing had jumped the shark, which I thought was ridiculous. A cultural catch phrase being dismissed by guys who sit in front of their computers all day in their underwear usually means it’s just begun to get traction with Average Joes.
Now, almost a full month later (an eon in terms of the “moving train”), USA Today‘s Scott Bowles and his slow-on-the-pickup editors are finally slurping it up. Bowles mentions that Kevin Kunze‘s Milkshake video (posted 1.13.08) has been watched 60,000 times, and the existence of IDrinkYourMilkshake.com. Old hat, all of it.
Except for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s telling Bowles that “he’s puzzled by the phenomenon — particularly because the lines came straight from a transcript he found of the 1924 congressional hearings over the Teapot Dome scandal, in which Sen. Albert Fall was convicted of accepting bribes for oil-drilling rights to public lands in Wyoming and California.
“Fall’s way of describing [oil drainage] was to say ‘Sir, if you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake and my straw reaches across the room, I’ll end up drinking your milkshake,’ ” Anderson says. “I just took this insane concept and used it.”