The Outsider: Getting old and cheesy
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | Dec. 5, 2018|
Someone told me recently that I was looking old. I can’t say that I was pleased. But, then I got to thinking on their remark and realized that it’s all in a word, one little word that had the power to bring me down.
And, then I thought about cheese. Stick with me on this one and I hope all will become clear. You see, I’m irked every time that I go to the grocery store to buy cheese. I want a strong cheddar, a mature cheddar, an aged cheddar; a cheddar that’s been resting on some shelf in a cellar for so long that its smell is pungent, its flavour sharp, and when tasted it has a tendency to blister the top of your mouth.
But what do I get at the grocery store? Old cheddar. Old cheese. Who wants ‘old’ anything? Old socks, no good because they’ve more than likely got holes in them. Old cars always break down. Old Spice, phew do you remember that awful aftershave from the 70s? Old Yeller, he was just a second rate Lassie and we all know it. And old cheese.
It’s called that because someone didn’t have the imagination to come up with a better word than old. They meant to say mature cheese. They meant to describe not the ‘mild’ cheese, nor the ‘medium’ cheese but the rich strong taste and sharp aroma of a cheese that has been left to mature until perfect to eat. They meant to do a lot of things, I’m sure but then they tasted that bland rubber block and thought this cheese deserves nothing but the accolade of ‘old’.
And, so I guess I can have no beef, if you’ll pardon the food-related pun, with the person who called our grocery store cheese ‘old’ because while there is a thesaurus full of words to describe a really good aged cheese ... ripened, seasoned, robust, hearty, for instance, our cheese wrapper scribe nailed it when they called that insipid, limp block of yeller, or orange, or marbled (don’t get me started about marbled ...) just ‘old’.
And, that brings me back around to the someone who told me that I was looking old, recently. Now, while I may not be the ultimate embodiment of a male specimen in his very late 40s, I most certainly also am not a bland block of limp rubber. My beard is whitening at its tip but that’s simply a sign of my maturity and the lines around my eyes, well they trace the map of a well-seasoned face. I’m not quite as quick as I used to be but I’m still as strong, and I’m well ripened too, pungent even, especially before my evening shower.
I guess what I’m saying is that if that person had taken the time to be more eloquent, to chose a less negative adjective, a different word to describe me, we might have gotten along much better. Then again, perhaps they purposely likened me to ‘old cheese’ and I should suck it up and accept that life really is all bland, tasteless nothingness from here on in.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider