The Challerhocker Label: An Investigation, Part II

Welcome back to our continuing investigation into the true nature of Challerhocker Boy, he of alarmingly intense eye contact and smiling-but-in-an-unsettling-way mouthparts. Here’s where we left things: after many sleepless nights and dog-chewed pants legs, we received our first legitimate lead in the case. This came in the form of Columbia Cheese’s Glenn Hills, the US importer of Challerhocker and also, therefore, of the likeness of its terrifying Boy. Glenn agreed to speak with me and provide any help he could. Did he have answers? In short, yes. But that doesn’t solve anything.

Upon first hearing of Glenn Hills, I was taken by his wonderful name. As we all know, glenn is the Gaelic term for a narrow, gently sloping valley, typically one with a romantic run of water moving through it. By virtue of being valleys, glenns converge downward. In other words, they are the direct opposite of hills, which rise and converge upward. How can two such concepts be reconciled within one man? What powers must he have? What other paradoxes might he contain? Suddenly I had many more questions to ask.

“Hello, this is Glenn,” he said when I called him.

“Glenn, are you able to chew on cotton candy before it dissolves?” I asked.

“Excuse me?”

“What is it like? I must know.”

“Oh, right. I get this question a lot. Imagine, if you can, a perfectly medium-rare steak with the flavor of bubble gum. It’s kind of like that.”

“Magnificent,” I whispered.

“I’d also like to note,” Glenn said, “for the record, that this part of the conversation never actually happened and that you are completely fabricating it due to having an overactive imagination within a mind that has difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Please put that in whatever it is you are writing.”

“We’ll let the readers draw their own conclusions, Glenn,” I said.

Then, upon speaking further, it became clear that Glenn is a fantastically kind and helpful individual, and so thoroughly decent that I would be remiss if I did not myself state that no questions were in fact asked about cotton candy and none of the heretofore conversation took place. I vow to henceforth maintain my journalistic and investigative integrity and not bring in blatantly false or misleading lines of narrative.

Instead, I will tell you what Glenn told me about Challerhocker and the Boy. First, lets discuss the name. Challerhocker does indeed roughly translate to “sitting in the cellar.” Or, if you want to mimic the sound of the name, we can say that it means Cellar Dweller. In that translation, the word can be thought of with a slightly pejorative connotation. “Imagine,” Glenn said (actually, this time), “someone in their parents’ basement playing World of Warcraft. That can be a Challerhocker.”

This, perhaps, is our first inroad into the psyche of Boy. He may indeed be a World of Warcraft gamer, so thoroughly and enthusiastically so that it appears he’s begun to channel the spirit of a troll from within the game. He’s a child whose imagination is active and unboundedly alive.

But how is it that Challerhocker even acquired its name in the first place? According to Glenn, it was but one of the potential candidates that Walter Rass dreamed up for his cheese. In total, he developed fifteen options. Then he took those names to the town architect. The architect liked Challerhocker for a name, and it was he who then conceived of the label. The Boy is an architectural design.

“To them,” Glenn told me, “the boy is just smiling. He’s coming out of the cellar to announce the cheese is ready. End of story.”

But the end of the story is really only the beginning of the mystery. Who is this architect, and why did he draw his Boy to look as though he’s finished feeding on the cheese and is now breaking through a prison wall to hunt for brains? In short, though we now know who created the Challerhocker Boy, the greater question remains: why does he interpret happiness to look like this?

That is the question I put to Glenn, who confessed that he could not say. What he could do, however, is put me in touch with his Swiss counterpart, the man who exports Challerhocker to the United States. So, reader, our investigation continues. Can you smell it? That is the scent of progress. We are on our way. Boy has so fully consumed me that I imagine I’d be having nightmares in which he comes for me. Perhaps one upside of losing so much sleep over this is avoiding such terror. Please stay tuned as we continue charging onward.

Read Part III

Back to Part I