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The following treatise is in response to a question from my nephew Steven, who asked "Uncle Jon…where does cheese come from?". I hope that this will answer more questions than it poses.

Too often I find that when it comes to matters of scientific enquiry there is altogether too much emphasis placed on outdated notions like "proof" and "facts". What we really need is to free our intellect from such burdens so that we might soar, so to speak, far above the tedious desert of "research" and "data", like a mighty Turkey Buzzard of Truth. If you follow what I mean.

At any rate, I have managed to shed such earthly encumbrances as logic, and without a single shred of supporting evidence I now present to you, dear reader, several theories as to the true nature of cheese.

Theory One: Cheese is actually an element, and it's omission from the Table of Elements is a matter of gross scientific negligence. I would postulate that atomically speaking, the cheese atom (Fromagium) should fall approximately between Potassium and Magnesium, giving it an atomic weight of about eleven and a half. I arrived at the conclusion that cheese is an element by reason of sheer deductive logic: It seems that we find cheese everywhere, just as we find traces of carbon in everything. I noticed, for example, that cheese is found in every supermarket I have visited, every corner store, every kitchen I have snooped around in, and I have even identified trace, nearly negligible quantities in many fast-food hamburgers and Kraft products.

It seems further that Fromagium has many isotopes, each with different properties. Close scrutiny of the apparent physical diminishment of the cheeses in my refrigerator (although I'm sure you skeptics would say that the cheese is simply being "eaten" or "consumed") has led me to see that different cheeses have various half-lives. Fresh Cheddar, for example (which I have named Cheese-14), seems to disappear much more quickly than Roquefort or Stilton, and I would estimate that it has a half-life of approximately three days, although there seems to be a correlation between the rate of shrinking and the number of children in the house at any given time. It may well be that children are themselves some sort of Force of Nature whose presence causes catastrophic change to the physical nature of Fromagium, possibly through radiation or some sort of Black Hole phenomenon.

Whatever the ultimate truth is, rest assured that this avenue of scientific pursuit will ultimately prevail.

Theory Two: It seems far-fetched to me that ancient hominids made the leap from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age with nothing in between. I present to you, therefore, the radical idea that one of the lost remnants of human history is in the short-lived Dairy Age.

It would have been a difficult era, to be sure, as Dairy Age Man (Homo Lactis) struggled to tame herds of enormous, savage Wooly Mammoths, rising at dawn to milk these behemoths in order to make the cheese which was central to their existence. No doubt the death toll for Homo Lactis was exceedingly high, as the Mammoth was without question a cranky and uncooperative pachyderm that would object most strenuously to having little hairy ape-men yank on their udders.

Once the prize of Mammoth milk was gained, the making of the cheese could begin. (Of course, they probably didn't call it "cheese", because this would have been long before the discovery of compound consonants. It is more likely that it was called "Oog", or something very like that.)

Oog would have had many purposes, of course. The hunters would have spent long days making spear points out of Sharp Cheddar. The women would have been occupied making crude dwellings from Cottage Cheese. (Not the best building material, I'm sure, but bear in mind that Dairy Age Man was no rocket surgeon.) The children would have amused themselves playing games with Monterey Jacks.

It is not known, of course, whether or not it ever occurred to Dairy Age Man to actually eat Oog. It is more likely that Oog was used only to make simple, if pathetic implements.

It may even be that a remnant of Homo Lactis culture remains in today's world. It would help explain the existence of the Kurds.

Theory three: Cheese was placed deliberately on this planet by hostile aliens. Clearly the intent is to assert dominion over Earth by causing bowel blockage on a global level. It is likely that these vicious aliens plan to use such obstructed bowels to provide some sort of breeding ground for life-forms so hideous that we can barely comprehend them. Or, the plan may be simply to use massive world-wide constipation to create such an epidemic of crankiness that we hurl ourselves into a fit of war, wipe ourselves out of existence, and present the aliens with a planet void of competition.

Of course, I may be completely wrong with these theories. The true nature of cheese may be far more complicated than anything any of us can begin to imagine.

-Jon Park-Wheeler
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