Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The cheese stands alone.

When I was in junior high, I had a friend. She was a Mormon and had many brothers and sisters. Five, if I remember correctly, which I probably don't. Her father was a local newscaster. He was robust and cheerful and excessively smiley while reading the reports.

This friend invited me over after school one day, and from her description, they lived the fancy life in a big house. Made sense, her dad was famous. When we got there, though, imagine my surprise when I met her large, braless, angry, shouty, sweaty mother, who laid on the couch for the duration of my visit, screaming at her grubby brood to bring her more diet coke while she watched Wheel of Fortune and bellowed incorrect answers at the screen.

When we went into the kitchen to get a snack before returning to the friend's room (which we had to enter by climbing over every toy owned by the sibling who had the lower bunk), we found nothing in the fridge, possibly because all of the cheese in the house had been grated onto the linoleum. A whole block of mild cheddar in a huge, greasy, crunchy, glistening pile, lying in a defeated heap on the curling floor.

I've never been able to escape that image. I can still see the one working bulb dimly casting its meager light over the filthy countertops and sink filled with cold, scummy water and rusting pans. So, whenever, while making dinner, shredded cheese escapes the grater to lay on the floor, wormlike and shiny, I must vacuum. To leave it there would be the first step down a road which can only end with Pat Sajak.

4 comments:

Tina Blewett said...

Whaaaaaat!!! What on earth made you think of that? How odd!! And how disturbing that household. Ugh. Why people should need a license to breed.

snusnu said...

I had some cheese on the floor from last night before I had a chance to clean it up. It brought back horrible memories.

TreasaRoesler said...
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Richmond said...

Y'know, it sounds like there were more problems going on there than *just* the cheese. I mean, yeah, pick up the cheese, but dropping it doesn't automatically make you the mom from What's Eating Gilbert Grape.