Q: I have a strange problem. I am not lactose intolerant, but I do have a weird reaction to cheese. There’s no way to put it delicately so I’ll just say it. When I eat cheese I...um...fart. And not those quiet killers, either. I mean, there’s a vibration in the room when I let go, which I assure you I try not to do. It happens with any kind of cheese from cottage to American. The recommended solutions not only don’t prevent the problem, they make it worse.
So here’s my dilemma. Just yesterday, my boss requested that my husband and I accompany him and his wife to a wine and cheese party. It’s for business. Important clients will be there and a possible needed and deserved promotion depends on my making a good impression.
I can’t say I’m lactose intolerant—he’s seen me eating yogurt and adding sour cream to potatoes—but I’m scared of disastrous consequences. The wine will make me loopy and the cheese, well... I don't want to go there. Do you have any suggestions?
Anne: Oh, no! You poor dear!! Is there such a think as a cheese allergy? Call your doctor right away and ask him to help you out with a prescription or maybe a medical excuse to get out of the party. The only other thing I can suggest is for you to nurse a glass of wine all night and casually drop any cheese squares that end up on your plate into the potted plants.
Best of luck to you!
Dee: My dad had a saying he lived by: It’s better to fart and bear the shame than to stop the fart and bear the pain. He used the same reasoning with belching. Gosh. No wonder mom thought he was such a romantic.
Eat before you leave home so you’ll have food in your stomach. Then, as Anne suggested, make a glass of wine last. Consult your doctor. Hopefully medical science has come up with an answer to this problem that's plagued cheese-heads since before there was a Wisconsin.
Barring that, borrow a dog. You know the kind, something cute and kinda small that you can carry around under your arm. If you find you actually have to eat a cheese ball, feed one to the dog, too. Then when you let loose, turn to the pooch and say, “Bad dog!” It's unfair, but no one ever thinks poorly of the dog.