Cheesy

 

Limburger cowSue and I had enjoyed an impromptu road trip to find a kinda famous “dented goods” place run by Mennonites in the middle of “I’m Lost” Wisconsin. Because of getting lost, we got there a half hour before closing, and discovered that we didn’t need more time than that. My primary purchases were corn remover pads in every configuration. It’s been 5 years and I still have stock, but what a deal!

We found roadside attractions to take turns posing beside. I felt like a true American standing beside the big ass upright cow statue that was wearing a chef’s hat and holding a big raw slab of sirloin.

Our last “official” destination before heading back to Illinois was established: Baumgartner’s in Monroe. It is one of a kind, so far as I can tell. The walls are covered by a battle between wine and beer, which I understand is symbolic of a battle between the Huguenots and the Catholics. In Monroe, the beery Protestants win.

Limburger catapult

Note that the beer steins are loading catapults with limburger while wearing clothespins on their noses.

Years earlier in our friendship, when Sue lived upstairs from me, we had gotten drawn to Monroe by their rotating festivals—one year it was the cheese festival and the next an accordion festival. Fortunately a girl never had to choose between them.

We’d almost come to blows during the Cheese Festival parade that honored families of cheese makers—seriously there were flatbed trucks with a bunch of old German farmers sitting on chairs. It was cute and funny, but the people of Monroe are serious about their cheese. They set up chairs days in advance, we later learned, to watch the parade. When I stepped out to take a couple of pictures, a wave of seething hatred washed over me from behind. Soon the grumbling began and we moved along, hoping not to have drawn the short straw in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” re-make.

On this day in Monroe, we were bound to try a local cheese of lore: limburger! We knew of its stinky reputation, but we’re fans of stinky cheese! Until our sandwiches arrived, we didn’t know that limburger actually smells like roadkill that has been in the sun for several days. We laughed and cried and cried.

 

One bite taken sandwich

I don’t think I was able to eat more than this. I can still smell this sandwich.

 Pull my finger

Asstrology

Gone are the days when my horror at seeing someone’s half-naked butt in a public place was confined to the ranks of America’s plumbers. As indignant as I may have felt at the time, I’ve come to think of that as the golden era of the Mostly Clothed.

Last week I walked down Franklin Street for a meeting. A man was working on his car, crouched on the street to get under the front seat. From his hat, I know he’s an A’s fan, but otherwise I only know that he needs a belt, more effective underwear, and perhaps a bit more time in the sun.

It seems that any time my husband and I happen out of the house to spend some tine in the world, one or the other of us will go into “red alert.” We notify the other verbally with either “BBC” or “GBC” and an eye dart to mark the location. (That’s Boy Butt Crack” or “Girl Butt Crack” if you didn’t already guess.)

The first time I witnessed this post-plumber phenomena I was at a once-favorite Irish pub in northern Illinois, where we lived for quite a time. A young woman, a friend of a friend, was seated at the bar and her lacy t-bar panties were hugging her hips, while her pants lagged behind at mid-butt level. Her friend and I looked at each other in shock and with some admiration. “Wow. That Emily sure is something!”

At the time, I had no idea this would become a trend. In the intervening years, I have thought that surely things would even out, that the low-on-the-hip pant fashion would be met by lower full coverage underwear and belts to keep America beautiful. Or maybe to make America great again, which would explain the random republican talking points.

Alas, 15 years later and it appears there’s a new moon on the horizon and it’s one with some real staying power.