Government Cheese & The Good Old Days When Love Wasn’t Constipated!

Everybody knows that Cheese can back you up for days!

As a part time vegetarian who has a weakness for my Wife’s home cooked fish and an all you can eat Sushi joint, I simply can’t STAND to have that backed up feeling of constipation.

Too much information?


But I have a funny feeling deep down inside that everyone reading these words can identify as that has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world.

Free Government Cheese

Well maybe not one of the worst but THE most uncomfortable feelings because you just can’t feel like yourself when you’re backed up like that?

Outfits that fit so perfectly are now all tight up in the gut and it’s always before you have a very important affair to attend when the dreaded “C” word (Constipation) creeps up on your personal horizon to mess things up.

It’s like there is a roadblock in your gut like a great big traffic jam in your belly.

Why am I writing about this instead of ranting about some racial injustice or yet another perceived conspiracy?

Well it’s because I had a conversation with someone close earlier and we started to speak about the good old days growing up in New York City and somehow the subject of Government Cheese popped up out of nowhere and we rolled with it.

Ronald Reagan Cheese

Talk about some jacked up memories!

For those who don’t know or weren’t here on this earth or country when this travesty went down, government cheese – or how I like to refer to it – Ronald Reagan Cheese, was the free cheese given out by the government to the homes of the needy and not so needy to supplement their diets with a free quality food that would supplement the pocket and bloat the gut beyond measure.

From what I heard back in those days, Ronald Reagan Cheese was a blend of several “cheese foods” (Which is the government’s way of not being cornered legally into admit that it’s not really real cheese – that at best could be compared to Colby cheese (Not that it actually was) but varied in color between yellowish and orange or a combination of BOTH!

Now here’s the kicker – correct me if I’m wrong – but my reputable and honorable sources tell me that this free Government Cheese was not of the best quality.


Why would it be in actuality?

Cheese Love

I mean, they were giving it away to poor people and even though the stigma of “Gubment Cheese” was something associated strongly with inner city Blacks, there were a WHOLE lot of poor White folks who saved a ton on their toilet paper bills because they were blocked up with the Ronald Reagan cheese also!

But from what I’m told, Government Cheese was usually rated as a “B” or “C” grade product by the USDA and was made from out of date milk that was damn near looking like cheese already.

So with something so gruesomely made is it a wonder now that our guts took the hits like it did after we consumed the inner city favorites of grilled cheese sandwiches, unlimited plates of macaroni and cheese and those salty cheese slices that were in every kids lunch bag cut so thick because they were like blocks of concrete?

Yikes! Oh how ignorant we were. Salty cheese? And we thought the government was doing us a favor!

Every little kid in the ‘hood and beyond was running around with a constipated gut back in those days when the Government Cheese was passed out.

Chicago 1970's - Kids Full Of Cheese

Worse than that, you couldn’t who was pregnant or not because every woman looked as though she was in her third trimester of pregnancy because of the backed up constipation that had her gut stuck out.

They would have tons of government cheese at the local church and all you had to do to get a block was to show your Social Security Number and the bliss of perpetual constipation was all yours to behold!

…….just like that!

The local supermarkets and delicatessen’s hated it because their cheese was now scoffed at by the folks in their neighborhoods. But only until that block of cheese in your refrigerator diminished and a week or two went by to get over the cheese overload.

Then things when back to normal until the first of the month came around again and the rumors of the cheese jackpot resurfaced again.

And if you doubted that they were giving out cheese for free once again, all you had to do was to see that one nosy lady – who was always the first to know about everything that went one in the block – happily walking down the street with not only one block for herself, but something like FIVE of those bad boys!

Government Cheese

Then it was ON! Hurry up and get your cheese y’all!

Even the winos and bums knew that they could get on the cheese bandwagon because they had a Social Security Number and figured that they could trade their block of ghetto cheese in for a few shots of whiskey before returning to their post parked out in front of the liquor store to beg. Trust US to come up with a hustle of some kind when all else fails!

Ronald Reagan cheese was such a hit in the neighborhood that even those deli’s that took a financial hit got revenge on the community that temporarily abandoned them by actually using the government cheese on their Sub Sandwiches!

Talk about a great business mind and a sense of ingenuity!

But all in all, when I look back on those days I think about how much fun we had in the bliss that was our ignorance.

Even though we ate lots of jelly rolls, grilled cheese sandwiches, Double Stuff Oreo Cookies chased down by those huge cups of sugary Kool-Aid, the bottom line was that we had each other.

Double Stuff Oreo Cookies

We had real conversations filled with our friends that possessed such a warmth that even today we still laugh at the jokes we shared long before there was a thing called text messaging.

We felt the real exhilaration from playing in the park until fatigue told us to go home as we didn’t even want our summer days to end because they were so sweet compared to the endless surfing online where the only laughs experienced by our youth is the typed in expression of “LOL!”

How dry today is when we compare it to our golden times of yesteryear.

Yes, some may say that every prior generation will say the same thing to the subsequent youngsters who poke fun at our so called primitive gadgets.

But if you understand the passage of time like I do you will agree that those who were born in the 1960’s and maybe the early part of the 1970’s were the last generation to have an abundance of soul.

The 1960's

Not to say that some of the children today can’t have soul but if they do then they had to be raised under someone who passed it down to them. Soul is just not something that can be picked up out of thin air like that.

What I’m seeing today is that the spiritual nutrition that we once had in abundance in our communities is now gone for the most part.

It has been replaced by a substitute culture that just doesn’t feed our soul like the culture of the good old days used to.

Marvin Gaye, 45 r.p.m. records, bell bottom pants, Afros and Afro picks with either the fist on the end of them or the two fold down red and green handles that were attached to the black comb and often times broke.

Afro sheen.

Thelma from Good Times!


American Cars when Detroit RULED!

Caddy’s, Lincolns & Buick Electra 225’s!

The Soul Train Line, rolling up one pants leg showing off your tube socks trying to be cool.

Bruce Lee.

Muhammad Ali.

Don Cornelius.

The Jetsons.

Spider-man when Spider-man WAS Spider-man!

Spider Man

A nickel taped to the top of the needle so the record wouldn’t skip.


Big Macs when they were really HUGE!

Kentucky Fried Chicken before it was KFC!

Players Magazine (When you can find that oh so hard to get naked lady magazine stash!).

The Mod Squad. Twilight Zone. The Honeymooners. Star Trek. THOSE were OUR reality TV shows!

Italian Snow Cones that had to be shaved off from that big block of ice that NEVER seemed to melt and having your choice of sweet syrup poured all over it in that little tiny cone shaped cup.

Snow Cones Better Than Cheese

Going to church – mandatory – but not so bad because you got a chance to see those fine members of the opposite sex as you prayed and peeked at them and no one knew.

Cookouts! It didn’t matter WHO had the cookout! You always got invited and told that you HAD to go back in the backyard to “get you a plate!”

We all were made to feel like family no matter whose blood flowed through our veins.

Today? It’s gangs, sets, cliques and crews.

What fun is that?

Chief Keef Eats Cheese

Heck, take me back to the days of Government Cheese and constipation.

We might have had less gadgetry, but we had the times of our lives and we didn’t have to sit down in front of a computer screen or clutch a smartphone as if our lives depended on it to enjoy it.

Make a point if you don’t know about the joys of growing up with a connected, rich at heart and loving community, then go get a salty grilled cheese sandwich to eat everyday until you are blocked up like a Los Angeles highway during the hot summer evening rush hour after a bad traffic accident in a gas shortage.

Kim Kardashian Constipated From Too Much Cheese

Maybe you will be forced to sit down on the toilet long enough to understand what you missed growing up!

…….and please don’t be in a rush, nothing probably won’t happen for a very long time anyway.

It’s the joys of Gubment Cheese and the good old days when love wasn’t constipated…….

…….it flowed so effortlessly and freely.

Peace & Righteous Love Always,

Your Reminiscing Brother,



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