Sunday, June 12, 2005


Yesterday, She Who Must Be Obeyed was running around town performing various Shopping-Related Activities. Meantime, I went to get my ears lowered.

This left me just north of midtown Atlanta with a little bit of time on my hands, so I decided to make a quick run over to Star Provisions for some fancy-pants groceries. After all, what better occasion than a Wedding Anniversary to justify the purchase of a few Overpriced Yet Tasty Comestibles?

First stop was the Baked Goods section, where I drooled at the various items until settling on a small Gâteau Victoire. This is a dense, bittersweet, flourless chocolate cake. You know you are in for some Serious Chocolate when the instructions for cutting the cake call for you to clean off the knife with hot water after each slice. As a nice fillip, they provided a small container of Schlag – whipped cream – to serve with the cake.

Second stop was the Cheesemongery. These people operate what may be the best cheese shop in Atlanta, and I decided on a hand-made lump of cow’s milk cheese from a little artisanal dairy in California. Red Hawk, it was called, from Cowgirl Creamery. Try something new every so often, and you’ll never get old – that’s what I was telling myself, anyway.

On to the Meat and Fish department, where I picked up a hanger steak (for during the week when SWMBO and the Mistress will be on their Thelma and Louise-style road trip to Foat Wuth) and some gravlax to have with breakfast Sunday morning.

Groceries in hand, I headed in the general direction of home, stopping off for a few errands on the way. And at each stop, when I got back in the car, I noticed a subtle, yet persistent, funk. “Must be the cheese,” says I to myself.

Upon arriving home, I wrapped the cheese in an extra layer of aluminum foil, the better to prevent Aroma Buildup. This I do because SWMBO has a low threshold of tolerance for Stinky Cheese. Once, in Houston, she took a wheel of especially pungent Camembert and hurled it into the back yard, having decided that she did not enjoy opening the fridge to the aroma of Godzilla’s Diaper Pail. And Gawd forbid I should melt a little aged Gruyère on an English muffin: the resulting sweat-socky pong will chase her right out of the house. By use of the foil, I hoped to avoid undue Stinky Provocation.

By and by, we headed out to dinner with a few friends, after which we returned to Chez Elisson for coffee and dessert: that Gâteau Victoire.

When we came into the kitchen, there was a faintly detectable Cheese Pong in the air. Not a good sign.

When I opened the refrigerator, the source of that Cheese Pong was immediately apparent. The foil had been no match for the Extreme Turdly Stench of the Red Hawk Cheese. I grabbed the cheese, jammed it into a super heavy-duty freezer bag, and ran downstairs to the basement fridge, there to bury the evidence.

Meanwhile, SWMBO was on the verge of accusing somebody of taking a crap in the upstairs refrigerator. Then she put two and two together.

“How can you eat that stuff?” you may well ask. How, indeed. I noticed that no flies would land on it…

The answer is, it tastes pretty good once you can get past the Pungent Aroma, which seems less pungent as you get used to it. Hey, guys have been nibbling on Stinky Things since time immemorial – why shouldn’t we enjoy a Grownup Flavor now and then? Fact is, I had a chunk with breakfast today, and the Missus didn’t even notice.

But you better believe I brushed my teeth about ten times before leaving the house.

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