Reader essay: 'Chief of the Curds'


The main commercial activity of a remote European town was the production of a variety of cheese not found anywhere else in the world. Because cheese making had originated centuries in the past, there were a collection of secret rituals that continued to be handed down over the generations.

So the Chief of the Curds (essentially, the "big cheese") would train his son, who would then assume responsibility for preserving and enacting the superstitious rituals in order to support the town's enterprise. The Chief and his offspring were the only people who knew the special ceremonies and recitations.

Those important and revered individuals had the use of a special and distinctive vehicle, affectionately called the "Curdmobile," that was easily recognized by all members of the small burg. For the sake of the town's economic survival, it was essential that no harm come to the occupants of that car.

Hence, the rules of the road were that at intersections, every other vehicle would stop, wait, and yield to the Curdmobile. In short, it had the rite of whey.

- Lou Lippman, Bellingham

Lippman is the author of "Wince A Pun On Time," a collection of word-play stories, available at Village Books, the Western Washington University bookstore, and from the author at

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