Foot or fromage? It’s a fine line.

31 Jan

In my last post, I mentally apologized to my fellow yogis for things like garlic breath and over-exposed breasts. Well, tonight it was refreshing – not really – to find the shoe on the other foot: I spent the greater part of my hour-long practice wondering if the girl next to me knew she smelled like a cheese wheel, and if so, if *she* was mentally apologizing to *me*.

Perhaps I should qualify that. I say she smelled like a cheese wheel, and I’m sure you’re thinking, “What, exactly, does a cheese wheel smell like, and how do you know?”

Well, I consider myself something of an expert on diagnosing cheese smells for one simple reason. (And NO, that reason doesn’t have anything to do with *cutting* the cheese.)  I lived in Annecy, France – the HEART of the French fondue region – for a year.

When I first arrived in Annecy, I hadn’t realized what its claim to cheese-making fame would mean. Quickly – about three sniffs off the train – I figured it out. The whole town smelled like a stinky foot. When a breeze blew, it was as if someone had put a fan in the shoe of a teenager.

(And why do I also consider myself an expert on smelly feet? Growing up, my friend Kelly had SUCH stinky feet that on a roadtrip, her parents actually made her tie her shoes to the bumper of their station wagon and stick her feet out the window. If Kelly didn’t groom me for a lifetime of graveolent diagnostics, I’m not sure what would.)

Anyway, after a year living in Annecy, I’m no stranger to the smell of melted gruyere. Some people might raise their eyebrows and claim there’s a rotten foot in their vicinity, but I know better: fondue or raclette is on the menu.

So tonight at yoga it was a bit odd; at first, my nose was confused – foot or fondue? Of course I started by trying to eliminate myself as a suspect. I craned my head toward my toes, trying to smell my foot. I mentally retraced my week to determine if at any point I had melted cheese near the yoga gear I was now wearing.

Both queries turned up nothing, so I re-focused my search externally. Within moments, I confirmed what – on some base level – I’d already known: that the chick next to me smelled like a cheese wheel. It was simultaneously appetizing and revolting. As she heated up during the practice, the smell became more intense.

Interestingly, while it might have repelled me in class, apparently on a subconscious level it had quite a different effect because after class, what did I do? Wash my feet? Gasp fresh air?

No. I went directly to Whole Foods and purchased a wedge of brie, a container of blue cheese crumbles, two frozen pizzas and a bottle of Bordeaux. When nostalgia strikes, you just have to embrace it. Even if it stinks.

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One Response to “Foot or fromage? It’s a fine line.”

  1. Michelle January 31, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Al! We must have some strange unresolved destiny yet to fulfill because our paths and minds seem to be running in similar circles these days.

    I, too, started a blog with many of the same thoughts – yoga, humor, sarcasm… and bodily functions. Although you first vowed to avoid, I’ve embraced, or at least acknowledged our family motto, “nothing’s funnier that poo.” 😉 By the way, despite your avoidance, your allusions are frequent. hehe.

    I’ve just read through most of your posts. Really great. Thanks for posting on FB.

    Let’s have lunch when you’re back in town for more than 30 seconds.

    For the sake of corporate belt tightening and celebrating the great cause that first brought us together, we can go Dutch. 😉

    I’ve received nothing but crap spam comments on my blog since it’s inception, so I hope you will enjoy clicking “approve”.

    If you get a chance http://viciousyoga.com

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