As The Clark Boys and I were walking out the front door yesterday, a bellowing voice came from the kitchen.
“What happened to the cheese?” my mother-in-law yelled across the house.
I walked to the kitchen to see her holding a cheese block that had been rounded off at one end, like it had been carved out by an army of miniature canoe paddles. While the markings looked vaguely like a cheese grater, it was pretty clear that the cheese had been malformed by something else:
Ten-year old teeth.
David is a documented cheese lover. Every day he eats cheddar cheese with crackers, lines the insides of quesadillas, and even finishes every day having some more with his milk. Jack – on the other hand – eats waffles. Period. Ruling out the little brother was pretty easy. Furthermore, I could close my eyes and envision David sitting at a laptop, watching Youtube videos while chomping on a log of Tilamook; the notion of slicing cheese off the block would take too much time for a busy man like him, and the solution in his mind was to make it a convenient chunk of mobile cheese – savoring each shoveling nibble while learning how to play Roblox. I didn’t need to be a dentist or CSI tech to determine who chewed this cheese chunk.
The evidence was simply too strong.
I held the cheese block up to David and stared at him. “It wasn’t me.” I looked at him harder. “It wasn’t me, Dad.” I looked at him even longer. “Dad,” he said squarely. “It wasn’t me.”
I gave the cheese chunk back to Grandma. “David insists that it wasn’t him,” I said to her. “Cut it off.”
Turning to David I said quietly, “If it was you, don’t do it again.”
About a half hour later I called the stunning Mrs. Clark at work to share the story. She started laughing uncontrollably; after summoning her composure again, she confided that the same thing had happened to her as a child.
“My Dad came home from San Francisco with a really nice chocolate bar,” she said. “I found it, took a big bite out of one end, and then wrapped it up before putting it away. Being a dentist, he tried to determine who had eaten his chocolate by studying the teeth marks. When he figured it out in his mind, he yelled across the house for Sherry’s brother. ‘Eric!! Get your butt down here!’”
She got off that time around.
She also asked David later on in the day, “Where’s the mouse?”