The Camembert.

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!


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.



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:


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.



Tommy Dewey pic

12 thoughts on “The Camembert.

  1. +++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.

Talk to me, Baby.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s