How My Kid’s Joke Inspired Me to Add a Cheese Course to Our Meals

(Image credit: Anne Wolfe Postic)

Have you seen The Lego Movie? It’s pretty darn funny, with jokes for all ages. Recently, we took our three sons — ages 15, 12 and 7 — to see the movie, and we’ve been quoting it ever since. One of the lines has inspired us to add a regular cheese course to our meals. No, really.

One of our favorite characters, Benny the 1980-Something Space Guy, is the source of our new family joke that I have a feeling will be around for a while. Remember when he keeps yelling, “SPACE SHIP! SPACE SHIP! SPACE SHIIIIIIP!”? A few nights after seeing the movie, one of us — I can’t remember who — called for a cheese course at the end of our meal.

The moment quickly turned into several of us yelling, “CHEESE COURSE!” in the manner of Benny. I imagine this sounds pretty awful to those of you who do not regularly eat with small children or boisterous drunks. You kind of had to be there, but it was really very funny. In fact, it was funny enough to become a recurring joke, at least for the last couple of weeks. We’re not the only people who like Benny; he even has his own Facebook page. And I’ve decided I like a weeknight cheese course.

We aren’t big dessert eaters, so it’s nice to have one more small course to keep us around the table. When I think of a cheese course, I imagine a restaurant style board of cheeses, at least three. At home, our final course is simpler and smaller.

Recently, we sampled a nice, creamy blue cheese from Happy Cow Creamery in Pelzer, South Carolina. Our seven-year-old, who may end up being the culinary voice of his generation, has something to say about good cheese: “Smells bad, tastes good.” True, that. The cheese course also gave him the opportunity to show off his woodworking skills. He’s taking a class at school, and the board was his latest project.

Lingering around the table for an extra ten minutes — it doesn’t take that long to pass around a cheese board and let everyone have a taste — is always a pleasure, even on a busy weeknight. And when it starts with a family belly laugh, it’s even better.

How rowdy do you get at the dinner table? I want to hear your family jokes!