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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.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


What Would Jesus Drive?

This is no small question.

Driving across the country with the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich is not something I take lightly. A good vehicle is critical. I can't risk breaking down and having to hitchhike. The VMGCS (Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich) could end up in the hands of some serial killer who would slit my throat and leave me for dead in the woods with my pants around my ankles.

More importantly, the VMGCS can't just drive across country in just any car.

First of all, it can't be foreign made. We need an American car for an American apparition made, let's not forget, with American cheese.

So when I called National Car Rental, I made it clear I wanted something befitting this religious icon.

"How about a Chevy Cavalier?" the rental agent offered.

"A compact!" I screamed. "For a grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ! I don't think so."

"Okay, there's the Buick Regal," she said. "That's a full size car."

"A Buick, huh. Doesn't seem very poetic," I sighed. "This is a trip about big ideas and big themes. We are going to be exploring how God and politics and morality intersect in America today. That doesn't seem like something you could do in a Buick."

"Well, we do rent Cadillacs. How about a Cadillac Deville?"

The mere mention of the word Cadillac sent a chill up my spine. The Cadillac is what this trip is all about. A Cadillac isn't a car, it's an epiphany with a V-8 engine.

When you slide behind the wheel of a Cadillac, a feeling washes over you that you are now part of something greater than yourself.

Of course I would rent the Cadillac, I told the agent. The Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich should ride in nothing less than a Cadillac.

"What color is it?"


Pure. Virginal. Perfect.

I have the car. Now all I need is the sandwich.

posted by Jim DeFede at 6:20 PM

Jim DeFede and Cheese

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