Special Guest Blogger: This Fish

Tonight's Special Guest Blogger: The Fish of This Fish Needs a Bicycle.

First, I'd like to say that guest starring on Paul's blog must feel something akin to being the Special Guest Star on The Muppet Show. I feel one with the likes of John Denver, Sandy Duncan and Don Knotts. Good company, I say.

Second, I promise to shock you all with the use of complete sentences, personal pronouns and a distinct shortage of confusing and colorful acronyms. "It won't be the Fish at all!" you say. Well, perhaps not. But let's not get sentimental. This departure from the norm is for a good cause: It's all in the name of cheese. Processed Cheese.

Paul did remind me that his theme for September was remembrance, but also said that I should feel free to write on the topic I had suggested for him at one point, "Processed Cheese: Why it's not really cheese."

And off I go.

I like cheese. I like it in most of its actual and metaphorical forms. I like cheesy pizzas, cheesy songs and tragically sometimes, cheesy men. But I do not support processed cheese. Processed cheese, or as the fake cheese industry has taken to referring to it, Cheese Foods (could you feel me shudder?) is not cheese. Examples and explanation follow.

In the form of Kraft Singles, it's something more like a ColorForm. Now, back in my ColorForm days, I chose Wonder Woman and the Cabbage Patch Kids. There are an alarming number of people, however, that select those blocks of floppy, orange-yellow sheets of synthetic material from the dairy aisle to take home as playthings. I picture these sad people flinging that nasty material onto their refrigerators, only to dress up and use simulated social situations for hours and hours of fun. Lesson number one? Kraft Singles are not cheese. They are barely food. They are playthings -- Like Silly Putty, only Silly Putty is kind enough to have an advisory against eating their product.

Next: Spray Cheese. Or, as I like to call it: Cancer in a Can. I believe that's enough of an explanation.

Finally: My ex-boyfriend, D. "Ha! I knew it had to get back to relationships somehow. But how is he processed cheese?" I hear you saying. Well, since you asked: The problem with processed cheese is that all the elements of real cheese have been removed from the product, making it squishy, weak and floppy, and in all other ways completely useless. Not to mention lacking in all nutritive value. The missing elements of actual cheese are things like, milk and/or whey. You know, all that growin'-strong-bones protein stuff? Well, the elements missing from metaphorical processed cheese are similar; compliments and/or unpredictable bouts of romantic gestures (i.e. flowers). You know, all those growin'-strong-emotional-ties romantic stuff? Completely absent. And well, what you end up with is weak, useless processed cheese devoid of any real value, and a messy break up (messy because when processed cheese melts, it's just slimy).

And there you have it. Stick with real cheese. Sure, there are caveats for the real thing, too. Like, some of the foreign kinds can smell a bit funny; some of the longer-aged varieties have very thick outer rinds; some, too many holes or a funky, bitter flavor (still following the metaphor here?), but overall, it's the real cheese that stands on its own. And makes a damn good pizza.

• • •

You may have noticed that The Fish had neglected Velveeta, America's favorite cheese substitute.

The Fish, in defense of her omission:

Ah! Velveeta! I'm sorry to have left that one out! But is it necessary to even touch that one? The name alone should tell you to stay away. I mean, it sounds like some chitnzy, 70s-era, leisure suit material. Wear it with gold chains to your high school reunion, but don't eat it.

"Is that suit felt?"

"Uh, no... Velveeta actually. A synthetic blend of... HEY! Stop touching me there..."

"It is now."

"It is now, what, pervert?"

"FELT. Rarrrr..."

Just another example of how processed cheese will get you nowhere good.

Couldn't have said it any better myself.