It’s Here in Black and White
SHELDON: What’s wrong with your face?
SHELDON: Your face. You look a bit queasy and your nose is all wrinkled up. Did someone break wind?
WES: No. I just read something really weird.
WES: Not just weird but disgusting, too. And creepy.
SHELDON: Weird, disgusting, and creepy, too. I didn’t think you read National Enquirer.
WES: I don’t. It’s not National Enquirer.
SHELDON: Paranormal Review?
WES: No. Yuck! This is just unbelievable.
SHELDON: Ah-h-h! The New York Times.
WES: Uh . . . no. It’s an item in this trivia book I’m reading.
SHELDON: Oh, much better. I prefer non-fiction.
WES: It says that in Italy it’s against the law to sell wormy cheese.
SHELDON: H-m-m-m. A little out of the ordinary as far as laws go, I guess. Still, public health is important.
WES: It’s not the law itself that’s so bizarre. It’s the scoff law.
SHELDON: I don’t follow.
WES: According to this article the people of Sardinia don’t take too kindly to laws governing wormy cheese. But they’ve found a much too bizarre way to skirt this particular law.
SHELDON: I’m not sure I want to hear this.
WES: The Sardinians place a perfectly good round of cheese in the cupboard and leave it there for a couple of months.
SHELDON: Surely even the Sardinians have refrigeration by now.
WES: That’s not the point. While the cheese is in the cupboard flies lay their eggs on it. It seems the enzymes produced by the larvae break down the cheese into a “tangy goo.”
SHELDON: You’re right. That is disgusting.
WES: That’s not all. Apparently by Sardinian standards this is gourmet food. They call it casu marzu. They eat the cheese, larvae and all.
SHELDON: Oh, dear. If I weren’t invisible I think I’d be awfully pale about now.
WES: I know. It’s . . . What? Say that again?
SHELDON: Oh, right. Well, even we muses have linguistic glitches now and then. We call it the Yogi Berra effect. His muse just gave us fits.
WES: Just the same, I’ll bet neither of them ever heard of Sardinia’s wormy cheese.
SHELDON: Lucky for them. Anybody would find the whole idea pretty revolting.
WES: Anybody but the Sardinians anyway.
SHELDON: Well, if you’re ever in Sardinia, I’d pass on the casu marzu if I were you.
WES: I’d be surprised if casu marzu, once eaten, isn’t passed on one way or another. Just the same, I think I’ll skip Sardinia altogether. I couldn’t afford the baggage fees for barf bags.
© 2011 The Wit’s End Scribbler