Participants in the study were given 20 grams of cheese before bedtime and asked to report on the quality of their sleep and dreams.
(For my fellow Americans, none of whom, like me, are familiar with the metric system, 20 grams of cheese would be equivalent to what we would call a "chunk" or a "wad.")
Not only was better sleep achieved under the influence of cheese, but our British friends found that the types of dreams enjoyed by those sleeping cheesily varied by the type of cheese consumed. Blue cheese inspired dreams of talking animals, cheddar of celebrities dancing, Leicester cheese dreams of the past, Lancaster cheese dreams of the future and Chesire a deep, unconscious slumber, as if the sleeper himself was a block of cheese.
I don't know how to translate the results of this study into the American experience. First off, here in America, Leicester and Lancaster are not cheeses—they are towns in Pennsylvania Dutch country. So we can write them right off. All of our blue cheese is used in the manufacture of dressing. We do have cheddar, which is sold in square, plastic-wrapped blocks in supermarkets and traditionally served on crackers at boozy office parties.
Also, we Americans have no fear of eating cheese before bedtime, or any time, to overcome. Many Americans refuse to eat any food offering unless it has at least some cheese on it. Certainly a pre-snooze snack of cold pizza or a whiz-and-baloney sandwich really hits the spot for me or any other natural American slob who really doesn't have anything besides that in the refrigerator when bedtime looms.
The idea of controlling things, whether it is the contents of our dreams or smaller countries or the world oil supply has always appealed to Americans, however, and I consider it my duty to explore the ramifications of the British study on this side of the Atlantic. I chose the four most common types of American cheese and after consuming them, induced sleep afterwards by a strictly scientific regimen of five cold pale ales, and recorded my dreams immediately upon awakening. Here are the results:
NACHO—Hot-blooded dreams of conquering Latin America, or at least Sofia Vergara. Faded into a fantasy of playing a carnival game that consisted of picking jalapenos out of my appetizer and flinging them into the cast of "Duck Dynasty's" beards.
PIZZA—Doomsday nightmares with this one. The moon dripped blood-red with marinara sauce, and the Four Pasta Shapes of the Apocalypse—Gnocchi, Rigatoni, Fuseli and Bow-Tie--rode across a landscape whitened by death, or possibly by really a lot of grated Parmesan.
AMERICAN—Intense musical dreams. Ted Nugent played a screaming lead guitar and performed vocally on a pulse-pounding, rock and roll version of "Talk to the Animals" (Imagine chatting with a chimpan, chimpan-zee, dude) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir covered "Back That Ass Up."
CREAM—My favorite. Sensuous dreams of easy women. Bristol Palin offered to model her entire line of "Slightly Chubby" loungewear for me personally and Courtney Stoddard tied me up and spoon-fed me tapioca topless. The stream of light-hearted sex fantasies was interrupted only by one pleasant if jarring interlude where President Obama appeared and threw in a free car detailing to anyone who signed up for health insurance.
Okay, you say, but what about other types of cheese that Americans gob down every day? Deep-fried cheese sticks, for example. Or rolled taco cheese? What about string, cottage or Danish cheese? Shouldn't these results be published in a scientific journal, or at least a nice glossy food magazine?
To these critics I say, why do I have to do all the work? Get snacking and get sleeping. Cheeseful dreams.