Cheese-a-saurus Rex came to me in a dream.

“Chuck,” Rex said, “You have been chosen to receive a wonderful gift.”

“An X-Box 360?”

Rex frowned. “No,” he said, “immortality.”

“What good is immortality without video games?” I asked.

Rex twiddled the fingers on the ends of his unusually short arms.

“Didn't anyone ever tell you not to look a gift-a-saurus in the mouth?”

“No,” I said. “But someone did tell me once that a life without video games is like an ocean without fish, a sky without birds, a...”

“Enough of this nonesense!” Rex roared, baring his pointy, cheese-colored teeth. “Do you want this gift or not?”

“I suppose I could buy my own X-Box 360,” I said. “Sure. What do I have to do?”

“Eat one box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese a day,” Rex explained, “and you'll live forever.”

“I have to eat the whole box myself?”


“I can't share it with anyone?”

“No,” Rex said, growing angry. “The gift is for you, not the macaroni and cheese-eating public at large!”

“So if I share the mac and cheese, anyone who eats it will live forever, too?”

“No, only you,” Rex said. “The magical power of immortality is within you, not the macaroni and cheese.”

“So why do I have to eat the macaroni and cheese at all?”

In an instant, Rex's face was inches from my own.

“I don't have time to explain every little nuance of how this works to you!” Rex's breath blew the hair back from my forehead as he screamed. The smell of macaroni and cheese filled my nostrils. Cheese sauce spattered my face. “You either accept the gift now, or I'm outta here!”

I gave it a moment's thought. It was clear that Cheese-a-saurus Rex expected a more immediate response, but he waited, wringing his tiny hands.

“Is there anything I'm required to do in exchange for the gift of immortality?”

“One thing, and one thing only,” he said. “Many children mistake me for the dinosaur actor in the movie 'Toy Story'."

“There is somewhat of a resemblance,” I said.

Rex was not amused. “You must actively help me quash the misunderstanding that he and I are one in the same. If another child who says he loved me in 'Toy Story' asks me for my autograph, I may not be able to contain my rage.”

“Have you thought about getting help for your anger issues?”\

The Cheese-a-saurus' eyes narrowed to slits. “Do we have a deal?"

“Yes, we do.”

Rex's face broke into a huge, toothy grin. “Excellent! You'll want to get started first thing tomorrow.”

The next thing I knew, I awoke in my bed. That was a little over five years, two additional “Toy Story” movies and countless boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ago. Kids still mistake Cheese-a-saurus Rex for the dinosaur in the movies (he hasn't killed any of them yet, as far as I know), and I'm still alive. I weigh 450 pounds now and my doctor says eating so much macaroni and cheese is going to kill me. But I know better.


Copyright: © 2011 Robert C. Eccles