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Follow the Cheese

Herald columnist Jim DeFede's odyssey across the United States as he delivers the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich to Las Vegas.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Hand Off 

"Be good to her," Diana Duyser said as she handed the VMGCS over to me.

"Keep her safe," added her husband Greg.

Locked in a metal briefcase - the combination of which only I and an executive of know - the VMGCS is now in my hands. In the 24 hours the Immaculate Consumption was on display at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, a steady line of people came to see it.

Those who passed by debated its significance or questioned whether it really was the Virgin Mary. Most seemed skeptical but even some skeptics left open the possibility it was real, pressing lottery tickets against the VMGCS's plexi-glass case for luck.

As I started to leave the Indian casino, a couple rushed up to me. They had come to the casino specifically to see the VMGCS. I opened the briefcase to give them a look.

The woman gasped.

"It's truly amazing," she said, her hand trembling as she reached out to touch it.

"Yes," her husband said. "It's miraculous."

Standing off to the side Diana watched, a mixture of joy and fear evident on her face. "I don't know what I'm going to do now that you are taking her away," she said soulfully. "She's been with me for ten years."

Diana and Greg followed me to the parking lot where the Caddy was waiting. The VMGCS is heavier than I expected. I can feel the palm of my hand beginning to sweat.

All I can think about is that guy who follows the president of the United States around with a similar style briefcase -- only that briefcase contains the launch codes for the country's nuclear arsenal. They call it the football.

Perhaps this is heaven's football and inside I am carrying The Launch Codes to God.

posted by Jim DeFede at 8:08 AM

Jim DeFede and Cheese

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