For almost two years Eileen Harrison had poisoned the cheese in her refrigerator. She herself only occasionally ate cheese but her husband, Archie, adored it: Edam, mild and creamy with 28% less fat. Archie would eat no other. He always had a big hunk of it at lunch time between two slices of bread.
It was almost a conjugal duty for Eileen to make sure there was fresh cheese (and a block to spare) in the refrigerator. It was part of the reason she was attempting to poison her husband – apart from the fact she had a secret lover who was excessively rich and she pined for that long-promised vacation in Bali. Archie was obsessed with everything, not just cheese. It was driving Eileen nuts. And yet, no matter how much poison she injected into the block of cheese, it had not the slightest effect on Archie.
Archie’s obsessive, meticulous behaviour was the reason the poison had failed to work; it was the reason why Eileen’s dalliance with her lover had failed thus far to produce a trip to a Balinese resort. The two smallish blocks of cheese sat in the refrigerator on top of one another. Archie figured that Eileen would place the more recent purchased cheese on top; but she didn’t put it on top, she always put it on the bottom because the top one was the poisoned bit. But Archie would take the bottom block because that was the oldest. He was neurotic about that. That is why the top block was sodden with poison and the bottom block was mild and creamy with 28% less fat and fresh and delightful.
So the poisoned cheese sat on the top untouched for almost two years; untouched that is until the lover paid a visit one lunch time.
Portia’s husband had been an extremely successful businessman; so much so that Portia had never had to work. She had spent her married life pursuing hobbies. One of these hobbies was cheese-making.
Portia was invited to speak about cheese-making to the monthly gathering of the Country Women’s Institute.
“The great beauty of cheese,” began Portia, “is that even in a simple sandwich it goes with so many things. You can have it in a sandwich just on its own. Or you can have it with egg, or onion, or jam, or vegemite. Occasionally I like to have it with a smidgen of tomato sauce. You can have it with celery or shrimps or cold meat. There are countless things you can put with cheese.”
What Portia failed to mention was that the last time she made a cheese sandwich for her late husband, he had it with arsenic.
Old Granny Brown figured a way to make a little money. She had always loved her goats. She had three nanny goats. She used them for milk and would make cheese.
Now that her husband had passed away, she could ill-afford to keep them; until she came up with her wonderful idea: she would sell the milk! She placed a sign at her gate: FRESH GOAT’S MILK! The milk was very popular, so much so, that Granny Brown wondered if she shouldn’t get another goat. She decided against it. Selling goat’s milk at the gate was so she could keep the three goats she already had and loved. There was no need to be greedy.
In the meantime, the Right Honourable Mr Stanislaus McCready, Member of Parliament for West Shaffton, introduced a bill into Parliament. We really must stop this unhealthy sale of goat’s milk on the road side. The milk has not been treated. Goodness knows what diseases are been passed on to the general population. The selling of goat’s milk at gates became illegal.
Granny Brown had to stop her sales. She could no longer afford to keep her beloved goats. In the new year, the Right Honourable Mr Stanislaus McCready, Member of Parliament for West Shaffton, was given the country’s highest award. He was now a Member of the Imperial Empire’s Brigade (MIEB) for services to the health of the nation. He had served the nation with his altruistic actions.
Not long after, the Right Honourable Mr Stanislaus McCready, Member of Parliament for West Shaffton, announced his retirement from politics. He owned a large goat farm and cheese-making factory, he said, and wished to put all his energies into developing that.
What a fuss it caused! One innocent Bill into its second reading in Parliament and all hell broke loose. It was a straightforward idea, and it would change the world, if only the hoi polloi would let it. What plebs!
The proposition was simple: the all-powerful government would decree the moon to be made of cheese; then it could be mined and fed to the starving poor.
The dairy industry was outraged. This was an out-and-out attempt to undermine dairy farmers’ livelihood.
The Royal Society of Astronomers fumed. Cheese mining would wreck the beauty of the moon’s surface, especially when viewed from earth. If they were to mine, could the cheese not be taken from the backside of the moon?
Mrs Valerie Kitson of West Sugarton said it was enough to curdle the milk in her breast. Once in a blue moon you’d get blue stilton, and she couldn’t stand the stuff.
The Bill didn’t pass its second reading. Parliamentarians thought it would lose them too many votes.
The poor are still hungry.
Each person, each group, again and again, thought only of themselves. Selfish bastards.