Communicating With Cheese

Steve Lodge

I made my way through the wet car park to the Institute Of Puthing building in Ringstad, the capital of Belzonia. This would be the third time I was to hear Dr Quadrant Ears speak on the subject of “Communicating With Cheese”.

Such opportunities to hear Dr Ears were becoming less frequent since he married the actress, Nola Lovelock, who almost never allowed him out of her sight unless she was filming in the Egyptian desert or Paris.

I forget where Nola was, but the good doctor occupied himself with another of his Cheese Talk tours. The Institute of Puthing was my best option to see him as I don’t need a visa when visiting Belzonia. Some years ago, I had donated a stilt and striathlete motif to the Fledgling Sportsklub of Ringstad and have been treated as something of a minor celebrity/mentor ever since.

I looked down the Boulevard Of Heroes as I stood outside the venue, nibbling camembert and brie blended to my own recipe with wasabi and Otis Atomik Mustard Preparation. I’d had some good times in this desperately shabby city. Famously, ‘Mule’ Edgar’s Silent Band played a gig here in 1972. It was memorable in ways that only jazz gigs can be when they are held in small, smoky clubs with 500 people crammed into a space that looked full with only the bar staff in it. The club was The Coldhead Aubergine, owned by Professor Olaf Flute, a good friend of Dr Ears, who lectured in Advanced Football Statistics at the Ringstad University of Belzonia.

The gig lasted over 3 hours, during which the band only played one song, their haunting “Find The Lady”. There was no encore. “Find The Lady” was later adapted and translated by Belzonian Poet Laureate, Istvan Manuskript-Texte, and is to this day the National Anthem of Belzonia, under the bonkers title, “Music With Belzon”. The original song was, of course, written by ‘Mule’ and long-time band member, Kieron Wolfe. Kieron left the band in 1985, blaming musical differences and a long-running feud over royalties. He later formed a band called ‘Disturbed Rabbits’ and was never heard of again.

My mental meanderings were brought to a rude conclusion when screams were heard coming from the auditorium. Jolted into action, I replaced the camembert and brie blend in my raincoat pocket and ran inside. Dr Ears’ secretary, Ingrid Kaltenbrunner, was sobbing uncontrollably. Then I saw why. Dr Ears lay on the floor surrounded by his notes. His face covered in what looked like Minstralig Veined And Lightly Tickled Triple Matured, his favourite cheese. He would not be the first to have taken too much of this massively powerful vintage Belzon speziale from the Minstralig family dairy in the nearby town of Kontaminatsi.

Steve Lodge is a wandering minstrel from London, now living in Singapore. By day he sells food ingredients and by night he writes short stories, poems/lyrics and plays. Prior to lockdown he has acted on stage, TV and film and done stand up comedy and improv, and played in a band.