About a month ago my friend Dylan Letang finally got his wish.
Last year he moved back to Whitehorse after spending a decade in Vancouver. As a single man with intelligence, steady employment, and racially ambiguous good looks he had designs on making a dent in the local scene.
Unfortunately, he lived in country residential limbo on the south side of town, which hindered his ability to take full advantage of a Saturday night shenanigans in Whitehorse. Then, when that living situation fell through, he was forced to move into his parent’s basement.
At first he was able to enjoy the situation on an ironic level, but irony can only
buffer you from parental idiosyncrasies for a limited duration. Soon irritation and self-doubt crept in.
So Dylan put on his grown-up pants and bought a house — a quaint little half-duplex in the conveniently located subdivision of Takhini. Finally, he was close to the action, and to celebrate, he hosted a house warming party last Friday night.
Perhaps it’s the influence of Vancouver, but Dylan is more of a sips-n-nibbles kind of guy than a beer bong guzzling animal. So, true to his nature, his house was warmed with wine and cheese.
Holding a glass of Pinot noir in my clutches, I set up camp in the kitchen, casually leaning against the wall as human traffic came and went.
On one of the counters there were seven or eight opened bottles of wine, which guests dipped into with gusto, and beside the wine was the biggest round of brie cheese I have ever seen.
I have a long history with brie.
During my youth, my parents made a point of having interesting cheeses on hand. From gorgonzola to gjetost (a Norwegian cheese that resembles caramel in both appearance and flavour) it was always an adventure to pull open the cheese drawer. But brie was the be-all and end-all.
Occasionally I would get to take a brie sandwich to school and because cheese was never high on the list of lunch items to be traded for, I was allowed to luxuriate in my meal without hassle.
But now my specialty-dairy-product budget is non-existent, so when I noticed the huge cheese wheel on the counter I bolted upright from my buttressed position against the wall and, much in the same way Dylan relocated to Takhini to be closer to the action, I relocated to be closer to the brie.
I cut of a generous wedge, applied it to an adjacent cracker, and sent it down the hatch. I repeated this action a dozen times throughout the night.
When I left the party the brie wheel had become more of a brie crescent moon, Dylan was happily tipsy and empty bottles of wine were piling up. A house had been properly warmed and I had been properly stuffed.
Later that night I had a terrible stomach ache, I rolled and groaned and farted in bed, but nothing alleviated the discomfort. I reluctantly blamed the brie for my unfortunate condition.
One more platitude proved true: Sometimes the ones you love end up hurting you the most.