A Survivor’s Tale of a (Kinda) Fatal Encounter with Moldy Cheese
It was a week or so ago and the day had been a long one.
Clouds were rolling in overhead and by the time I’d picked my kid up from school, the sounds my stomach were making in anticipation of some sort of food rivaled the scale they use to classify tornadoes. It was like that cow from Twister kept flying back and forth through my hollow belly, winds howling, storm chasers pooping their pants in fear that they’d reached The End.
I nearly closed the door behind me, leaving Dylan on the porch. I had eyes for the refrigerator and safely getting my loved ones through the front door dropped dramatically to the bottom of my list of top life priorities. After reassuring him that “all the cool kids have door knob shaped scars on their foreheads”, I made a beeline to the kitchen like I was making a mad dash for the hams on Supermarket Sweep.
Ripping open the fridge door, my eyes scanned its contents carefully, methodically until I finally set my hunger phasers to stun on the meat & cheese drawer (which, let’s be honest here, always has more cheese than meat, who’s with me?). Pulling out three, individually wrapped snack cheeses, I started in with my plot to kick back and relax for a few minutes before it was time to make dinner.
One simple bribe to have an after school picnic on our bed later and the kid and I had settled in for some dimly lit quiet time. I unwrapped the first snack cheese, eating it slowly with skill and savory finesse. It was delicious.
I took a pause before opening the next one to look around me. This was the life. There I was at 3pm, my kid by my side, old school episodes of Casper looping endlessly on the TV and cheese in my belly. The most satisfying part of it all. Damn, I love cheese.
Unwrapping the next snack cheese I took a moment to admire the beautiful white and yellow marbling of that tiny, stick of cheese. Well, whatever I could actually see of it in the low lighting. I enjoy my cheeses romantically whenever I have the chance. Even with children present, cheese always deserves the romance. I could not recommend that cheese dining scenario more.
It was time. It was time to give my body to that delicious pat of dairy goodness.
Then it happened.
I took the first bite and something was wrong.
I knew from my experience a few minutes before that this was supposed to taste like heavenly Colby & jack cheeses, not like Windex. The cheese I had just thoroughly chewed and swallowed tasted eerily similar to harsh household cleaners designed to make all the leftover poop pieces in your toilet magically disappear. Except there’s no magic about it, folks. That crap was obliterated by a chemical that I wouldn’t be able to pronounce even if my life depended on it. I’d just tell the guy giving me the life ultimatum to get on with it already before he missed his I Love Lucy reruns. (Because I’m fairly certain that anyone who is still hopelessly devoted to watching Lucy reruns would also be the type of murderer who would demand their victim pronounce chemicals in cleaning products “or else”. Sorry for outing you, weird murderers.)
Being as devoted to the food before me as I am, I decided to take another bite to be sure I wasn’t delusional. It had been a long day after all.
The poisonous taste happened again. Only this time was way worse.
Now was the time for me to investigate what the hell was going on with this cheese stick.
Side facing up: The Mona Lisa of Marbled Cheese
Side facing down: The Rolling Hills of the Irish Countryside of Moldy Cheese
Without a care in the world or a moment of hesitation, I projectile spat the half-masticated bite of cheese THAT WAS STILL IN MY MOUTH across the room. My eyes widened as I watched the slimy thing ricochet off the bed post, Dylan’s elbow, the TV screen and then finally land in my lap*.
Then I proceeded to do the only logical thing a person who was me would do in this situation: I sent a text to Steve followed closely by a tweet…or vice versa. It’s a fresh, blurry wound and I probably shouldn’t be held accountable for accuracy.
Me: I just ate moldy cheese and am pretty sure I’m going to die. What should I do?
Steve: Did you try puking? You should probably puke.
Me: WHY?! I AM GOING TO DIE AREN’T I?!
Steve: Maybe. Can you puke? (cactus emoji)
Me: TELL MY FAMILY I LOVE THEM AND TO SUE THE CHEESE COMPANY FOR EVERY PENNY! ::weeping::
Steve: That escalated quickly…
As I laid on the ground, content with the fact that I was definitely in my final hours by the hand of cheese that day, I began to think of my life accomplishments. I mean I had just discovered that I was essentially the Walter White of Penicillin. I’m no doctor or drug dealer, but I guess I became one that day. Narrowly passing Intro to Biology with a low D qualifies me as the furthest thing from an expert, but culturing my own antibiotics in a meat & (always more) cheese drawer puts me on a whole new genius/criminal level. And listen, I’m also no FDA official, but I’m positive that if they found my refrigerator drug mill while I was still tickin’, I’d be doing 10 to life.
*Okay, okay so maybe I just made that “Plehhh” sound and let the thing fall off my tongue into my napkin. Emotions were running at an all time high here, kids.