Cheese bee

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Excerpt from Who Cut The Cheese? - An A-Mazing Parody about Change (and How We Can Get Our Hands on Yours)

I'm tickled pink to be taking you "behind the story of the story" of Who Cut The Cheese? because it means that another copy of this book has been sold, and my pile of cheese has just gotten bigger. Of course, your pile of cheese has just gotten smaller by exactly the same amount, meaning you need this book.

Or perhaps you received this book as a gift from a friend who is trying to give you a hint only slightly more subtle than taping a "loser" sign on your back. If this is the case, you desperately need this book. And probably some less cowardly friends.

In either event, I've wanted to share this fabulous "Cheese" story ever since it first dawned on me that a tiny book with oversized print, wide margins, and lots of pictures would only take about a day to write.

Who Cut The Cheese? is a parable (Latin for "terrible parody") in which four characters must find a way through a maze in their hunt for "Cheese." But please keep in mind that this Cheese is actually symbolic of the things that we all want out of life: success and self-confidence, a nice house, a loving marital relationship, perfect children, a loyal dog, indoor plumbing, good Chinese food, several million tax-free dollars, and red-hot sex with multiple partners.

The Cheese could be your job, your relationship, your Horrible Secret - anything that makes you happy, no matter how unrealistic or sick. Pursuing this Cheese gives our lives meaning. But finding your Cheese and then having it cut off can be absolutely devastating. Ask John Wayne Bobbit.

By the way, if you thought this book would actually help you find real cheese, well...it's over in your supermarket's dairy section. You can close up this book now and go back to watching the Cartoon Network. Glad to have helped.

The "Maze" in this story is symbolic of the twisting, turning, confusing, mugger-filled blind alleys of Your Life. A maze filled with incomprehensible dangers, sudden gut-wrenching turns, and walls which seem to be pressing in on you - tighter, tighter - squeezing the very air out of your lungs. Whew!

More importantly, since you're being compared to a rat in this book, the whole "maze" analogy works like a charm.

As a professional counselor in Failure Management Skills, I've told this Cheese story hundreds of times to groups all over the world. The response is always gratifying - especially in those countries that speak English. Though it's almost impossible to believe, this simple Cheese story is responsible for getting people better jobs, helping them lose weight, and growing thick lustrous hair on bald heads. What's more, this Cheese story has been credited with healing lepers, carrying children out of burning orphanages, and saving the Earth from a disastrous comet strike. If it were only a few pages longer, it might well raise the dead.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section, A Reunion, takes place in a hotel bar. It introduces you to a group of friends who share their feelings about the changes occurring in their lives and careers.

The next section is The Story of Who Cut The Cheese? which wasn't long enough to turn into a book on its own without considerable padding. In The Story you'll meet two rats and two teeny people who are faced with change. Not to give away the ending or anything, but the rats do beautifully while the teeny people suffer the torments of the damned because they fall back on old behaviors instead of buying self-help books. And in the movie The Sixth Sense? Bruce Willis is dead the whole time!

The third section of the book, Another Round, Bartender, returns us to the hotel bar where the friends have soaked up so much alcohol that the Cheese story is actually starting to sound good to them.

Some people may want to stop reading this book immediately after The Story of Who Cut the Cheese so that they may consider what it means to them personally. Or perhaps they simply have short attention spans.

Others will want to read Another Round, Bartender to share the insights that the friends have picked up from the Cheese story. These insights will have even more appeal and meaning if you, too, are drinking something flammable.

I hope that you'll re-read Who Cut the Cheese? over and over, and pick up something new each time. I hope you'll learn how to cope with change, and discover how to find the Cheese that will make your life joyous and fulfilling.

Failing that, feel free to take crayons and color in all the pictures. It's fun, it's therapeutic, and it will make it impossible for you to return this book for a refund.