Chicago, May 11, 1925. When Joe Maurizio, an accountant, came home from work, he paled. Before the door was a huge piece of Parmesan cheese. He quickly opened the door, whimpering and calling his wife like a frightened child. “What’s wrong?!” she asked. Trembling, Maurizio pointed to the cheese. “Oh, what a detail. You have brought cheese”, she said kissing him on the forehead. “But what’s wrong with you? You’re shaking”. Speechlessly, Maurizio dropped himself on an armchair while his wife went grab the cheese. “Don’t touch it!”, he shouted. She picked up the cheese and smelled it. “Mmnn, how good it smells.” She picked up a knife from the kitchen and began cutting slices. “And it tastes better”. He looked at her in awe. “What are you doing?” “Honey, you’re very weird. What the hell happens to you?”. “How can you eat it like that?” he said, stunned. “Do you mean with the fingers?” “Like it was nothing!” he replied. “Joe, I’m afraid you’re going crazy? Are you afraid of a cheese?” “I’m lost”, he said in anguish, “I’m a dead man.” She stopped eating and turned to him: “What the hell are you talking about?” “Don’t you see that this cheese is a threat?”. “A threat?”, she repeated, staring at the cheese. “Since when do you worry about cholesterol and this sort of stuff?” Then he jumped exasperated: “Don’t you see it’s a threat from the capo?! They’re going to kill me!” “Who’s going to kill you?” “My boss. I’m a mafia accountant!” Then she got stunned: “Are you kidding?” “Do I look kidding?” “Wow!”, she said, “how exciting! When I tell the girls, they will not believe it!” “Don’t you know Al Capone always leaves a cheese at the door of his next victim?” and he began to wander around the dining room. “But what have you done to him?” she asked. “I’ve just embezzled a couple of hundred thousand dollars” “What?!” she exclaimed. And he, turning towards her: “Do you think he will have noticed? I took so many precautions…” “Well, If I were robbed two hundred thousand dollars, I assure you I would notice”, she answered. Then he jumped: “Look at you! Instead of giving me courage, you are there so calm eating the cheese that is going to take me to the grave!” “Honey, it is a sin to waste food. Do you know how much a piece of cheese like this costs? Things as they are: your boss has class.” And then he, grabbing and pushing her away from the table: “Come on, leave the cheese and prepare the suitcases. We must get the hell out of here.”
After a while, both of them hurried out of the house loaded with suitcases. And shortly thereafter, a couple of gangsters knocked down the door and broke into the house at submachine gun point. “Too late”, one of them said while looking at the half-eaten cheese, “The mouse ate the cheese and avoided the trap.” “It’s always the same story” said the other lowering the gun, “I don’t quite understand this tactic of the boss. Yesterday he spent the afternoon placing a curse on that damned cheese. It’s supposed to be cursed now.” The other took a bit of cheese and put it in his mouth: “This cheese is no more cursed than me”, and saying this he swallowed it unintentionally, with such bad luck that he choked on it. When his partner noticed, he had both hands on his throat and his face was blue-purple. Before the other could do anything, he fell to the ground, dead. The other gangster took his pulse and then, furiously raising his submachine gun, turned his fury against the cheese: “Damn cheese!”, he shouted, “I’m going to turn you into a Gruyere.” And began to shoot wildly against the cheese, with such bad luck that one of the bullets bounced and crashed into his head, killing him on the spot. The curse of Al Capone cheese had imposed its power … Anyway, we must recognize that something wasn’t quite right.