The Camembert.

5 Feb

This story starts out alright.

Ervin and I were sipping almond milk lattes at Intelligentsia in Silverlake. I’m always torn between — wait. What am I saying. I’m never torn. All I do is 1. Try not to chug my drink, and 2. Make some sort of conversation while I’m 3. ACTUALLY watching people and wondering about their lives…

Me: “So what was that story about that thing?”

Ervin: “OK, so –”

Me: “I love that girl’s style. I would wear that. What–? OK. Yes. SO. Go ahead, you were saying…”

Ervin: “So –”

Me: “OMG! Shhh. Wait. So… that’s the guy from ‘Casual’…”

Ervin: “Who?”

Me: “That guy!

TommyDewey-dog

His name is Tommy Dewey. I watch the show. And I’m always excited to see someone from my TV! (Plus a girl! Was it his girlfriend? A friend? His sister? My mind was doing Rubik’s Cubes.)

Then, I see a family walk out of The Cheese Store, with these giant toasted sandwiches, and I’m all “Ervin, wanna go into The Cheese Store?” as I’m already dreamily floating off, toward the shop.

Inside the store, we find an hors d’oeuvres menagerie. Cheeses for days, charcuterie, chutney, chinoiserie (JK… just trying to sound fancy). We sample the samples.

“WHAT IS THIS”. We ask the clerk, in robotic unison. Cheese is our leader.

“It’s a funky Camembert from Normandy.” — Or some other place that is like butter in my brain, because — cheese.

“We want it.” The robots announce, unblinking.

We leave the store with our little cheese wrapped up in its adorable French paper, inside a woven container, in a gift bag, inside my tote bag, and head up the street to Reform School, aka hipster-maker-paradise.

Inside, several people mill about, and the air smells like intentioned candles, perfume, and… farts? 

Ugh, seriously? Who ripped one. I eyeball Ervin. He’s pretending to look at hand-carved pocket knives. Yeah right, buddy.

I get sidetracked by a 4-pack of leather drink coasters with geometric shapes on them. And [Waft] — I smell it again.

I look around the room. Everyone seems so normal… so… shopping… WHO IS DOING THIS TO US.

I glance past some Ryan Gosling adult coloring books, to the register attendant. Is she like “Fuck this place, I hate my job…. fart storm?” She seems to be quietly, otherwise engaged.

I’m not really gonna buy the mini bead loom or whittling kit I’m holding, so I put them down.

OK, they need to light more candles up in here. Open a window! Like, if this is the deal? Incense this shit up.

I put back a bottle of Energizing Rose Water and Moondust Facial Mist and walk past Ervin, my primary person of interest in this case…

Reaching into my bag for my phone, {{{{{{FART SMELL}}}}}}}}!

OMG. Omg. It’s ME. It’s the CHEESE. And I’ve been torturing EVERYONE IN THE STORE FOR TWENTY MINUTES, with my funky ass Camembert from Normandy or wherever!

I grip my tote closed, like a human Hulked-out Ziploc.

The register attendant looks at me suspiciously. She’s already smelled it. HOW COULD SHE NOT.

I motion to Ervin with an arm signal that means “I AM THE FART SMELL! LET’S GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE”, as the good people of Silverlake are silently side-eyeing me: sole destroyer of afternoon serenity.

“This fucking cheese!” It instantly stinks up my car. A skunk would have been a blessing.

We stop by Trader Joe’s, leave the cheese in the car – for the sake of humanity, and later return to its stanky stench, like a death-sponge, siphoning all breathable air.

“PUT THE FUCKING WINDOWS DOWN!”

“IT’S IN A WRAPPER FOR FUCKSSAKE!”

Our tires squeal as we race out of the parking garage.

Now, the cheese sits, half-eaten, in allegedly air-tight Tupperware in our fridge. Our tiny French monster. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting…

Need a glass of cool water? “ENJOY YOUR FUCKING WATER FARTS!!!!!!!!!!!” Looking for a midnight snack? “HOPE YOU LIKE FARTS!” Good morning! Need a –“FARTS IN YOUR FACE YOU SUNNUVABETCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Last time I let it air out, it looked like this:

stanky-cheese-lb.jpg

I mean, it tastes delicious. And its dedication to unapologetically being itself? A testament.

But I’d put my money on this cheese, in a stink-off against a Durian fruit. Covered in ripe sewage. On a steamy summer day in Georgia.

XX,

L

Tommy Dewey pic

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12 Responses to “The Camembert.”

  1. jwynnyk February 5, 2016 at 2:07 PM #

    Tears are streaming down my face, I’m laughing so hard!

  2. Amy Berrian February 5, 2016 at 2:18 PM #

    Bahahaha! Missed your stories Lauren. =)

  3. tinykitchenstories February 5, 2016 at 2:21 PM #

    +++Crying!!!!+++ And that dumb store deserved to get stunk out!

    I have had a similar experience, but actually in France, on a press trip. I bought a ton of cheese to take back to London, and it sat in the car, stinking it up, all day. I was NOT popular.

    • Lauren Bair February 5, 2016 at 2:41 PM #

      Hahaha OK, Jenn, at least you were in FRANCE. I feel like maybe they understand…. eh???

  4. Andrea Ehret February 5, 2016 at 3:29 PM #

    You cut the cheese!!! Awesome :)

    • Lauren Bair February 8, 2016 at 5:53 PM #

      Hahaha YES! And I keep cuttin’ it every DAY! ;)

  5. Thomas Fries February 28, 2016 at 5:42 PM #

    Thanks. Again!

    • Lauren Bair February 29, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

      It is the best thing, hearing that people like to read this stuff. Haha! Thank you!

  6. nicolerae77 March 30, 2016 at 8:14 PM #

    Omg, I laughed so hard reading this, I woke the damn kids up! Perhaps not my best choice for a bedtime story. . . Eh, i don’t care –It was worth it. So funny.

    • Lauren Bair March 30, 2016 at 10:34 PM #

      YOU made my DAY!! I love hearing this (and I hope the kids fell right back to sleep – haha). Best compliment ever! XO

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