Roquefort and Boils – Socially Unacceptable Poems

To follow are two fun and “socially unacceptable” poems (especially the second one!) that I’ve really enjoyed lately. You might want your dictionary handy though.

Roquefort Cheese by author unknown; taken from Heart Throbs, 1904

“Roquefort cheese is made in France from the milk of a certain breed of sheep, which are fed on wild thyme, and the cheese has a wild time trying to keep from stinking itself to death in its infancy. The wild thyme grows on the banks of the Lot, Tarn and other rivers in the department of Aveyron in France, and after it has first been besheeped and then becheesed it generates a lot of the tarndest smells that ever perambulated down the pike.

Thyme is the kind of aromatic plant plant with a pungent odor and after it is converted into Roquefort cheese it is the pungentest thing known to man. After this cheese is made it is put in solitary confinement until its whiskers begin to turn gray and gangrene sets in, when it is taken out and chained to a post. Before it is served it is chloroformed or knocked in the head with an ax. It is then brought to the table in little square sections about the size of a domino. It is served at the close of meals together with black coffee. It usually has a running mate in the shape of a round cracker that has to be broken with a maul.

Roquefort cheese is of a dull white color, except in spots, where mortification has set in. Some claim it to be inhabited, but this is not true. Even the intrepid and mephitic microbe flees from it as we flee from pestilence. We have seen Limburger cheese strong enough to shoulder a two-bushel sack of wheat, but a piece of Roquefort the size of a dice can carry an election. Limburger is a rose geranium when compared with Roqeufort. There is as much difference between them as there is between the purr of a kitten and the roar of a lion. Some people who claim to be civilized say they like Roquefort cheese, but they only eat it because it is imported and expensive. A man who will eat it is an open sepulchre and should be quarantined or driven into the wilderness and never again be allowed to look into the face of a human being.”

Someone, a long time ago, obviously “had a bad experience” with Roquefort!

Bessie’s Boil by Robert Service, as read by Mark Mattix

Rudy Booher and their family visited us recently and they filmed my dad reading his favorite poetry book by famed Alaskan poet Robert Service. Enjoy “Bessie’s Boil” but don’t watch in a library, as you’ll be laughing too hard.


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