NEW GLARUS, WI—As the walls of the molten-cheese containment unit groaned and the massive vat of coagulated milk curd began to give way, shift supervisor Derek Preston addressed his staff for the last time Thursday, bidding the close-knit team farewell. "Gentlemen, it appears we have reached the end," Preston told the ragtag group of workers gathered around him before pausing for a moment of silence to honor their fallen colleague Walter Timm, who had bravely attempted to vent the excess cheese buildup by diving to the bottom of the vat to wrench open a stuck valve. "I'm proud to have served with all of you. Are we heroes? That's ultimately for history to decide, but goddamn it, you're all heroes in my eyes." At press time, the remaining employees gave one another a final nod before standing together, undaunted and with hands clasped behind their backs, as the encroaching wall of piping-hot cheese drew nearer and nearer.