August 4, 2017 by writehandman.com.au
A few weeks ago, thanks to the generosity of some great friends, we were staying in a fancy ski lodge. I had a run-in with six 100% vegetarians in the café underneath.
My wife had already had dinner, so she went upstairs, while I waited for mine. On the next table sat three ridiculously good-looking couples with perfect clothes, skin, hair and teeth (it was like a table full of Osmonds). They all ordered gluten-free.
The vegetarians had been drinking, were laughing loudly and yelling. I suspected they were wealthy Eastern Suburbs preppies, they weren’t down-to-earth like Upper and Lower North Shore folks.
Me (walking over to their table) – “Howdy Chad’ster (I’d met Chad in the lobby). It’s good to meet fellow vegetarians! You’re ALL gluten intolerant?”
Chad’s wife (I didn’t get any of their names) – “The six choose no gluten.”
I burst out laughing. I stifled it immediately upon realising she wasn’t joking.
Chad’s wife – “You’re a vegetarian?” She seemed surprised.
Me – “Hells to the yeah! I must admit, though it seems a lifetime ago now, I only came into the light fairly recently.”
Chad’s little mate – “I can’t even look at killers of innocent animals, eating carcinogenic meat. The smell makes me want to puke. Don’t let me get started on the ecological footprint! They’ll all die early, and rightly so.”
Me (not quite knowing what to say) – “I had a vegetarian frittata for lunch.” I smiled proudly.
Chad’s wife – “If it had a face, or if it had a mummy, it won’t end up…”
All the vegetarians answered loudly – “IN OUR TUMMY.”
I was taken by surprise and reeled back slightly.
Me – “Vegetarianism purges my body of past dietary sins. And God knows I’ve committed more than most!” I patted Chad on the back.
My food arrived, so I returned to my table.
Ten minutes later I could hear hushed voices coming from the vegetarians. I flashed a look at them and they were all giving me the old stink eye!
Waiting a few moments, pretending I was reaching for the salt, I snuck another look and there were six great-looking, Eastern Suburbs vegetarians, glaring daggers at me! What had I done?
I heard Chad’s wife’s raised voice, “WELL I’M GOING TO SAY SOMETHING IF YOU WON’T.”
After a few minutes I got a tap on the shoulder. It was Chad with a weird look on his face.
Chad – “Jase, you told us how wonderful it is to be a vegetarian.” He slurred his words a little.
Me – “Yeah mate. Wonderful.”
Chad (pointing at my dinner) – “You’re eating a meat pie.”
I heard Chad’s wife call out “It’s disgusting… HE’S disgusting”.
Me – “What? Oh.” With a friendly chuckle. “I am a vegetarian Chad’ster, but not in the traditional sense. I do eat meat every day.”
I sipped my beer.
Me – “But Chad’ster, I’ve had meat for lunch and dinner, every day of my life. But, now I only have meant ONCE a day. It’s literally a 50% drop in my meat intake. In fact if you include my breakfast of vegemite toast, I’m actually 70/30 vegetarian.” I smiled.
Chad – “Meat every day?”
Me – “ONCE a day only Chad’ster. 70/30, so I’m just rounding up.” I smiled warmly.
Chad – “You cannot call yourself a vegetarian! The six are vegetarians. YOU’RE NOT.”
Me – “You call yourselves the six? Chad’ster I’m… predominantly vegetarian, so surely I should be able to use the cool title.”
Chad – “You’re having meat every day for crying out loud.”
Me – “Of course it’s hard for me to be considered a vegetarian when compared to you purists, you hundred percenters, but surely there are different levels. Anyway, it’s your vegetarians fault, for not having a term that describes somebody who is… pretty much, vegetarian.”
Chad – “YOU’D BETTER STOP.”
I was taken aback by his aggression. I cut off a huge piece of pie, mouthed to Chad “I’m a vegetarian” and defensively shoved it in my mouth. It was really hot.
Me – “Looook Chad’ster, I’m on holiday with my family. I don’t want any trouble. I’ve become 70% since Sunday, but what if, in the spirit of compromise, I don’t call myself vegetarian until I’m say… 80/20?” Chad shook his head.
Me – “How about this, what if I call myself… a Meagan? A meat eating vegetarian.”
Chad – “YOU’VE BEEN OFF MEAT SINCE SUNDAY??? TODAY’S ONLY THURSDAY!!! WHAT SORT OF MAN ARE YOU?”
Me (sensing Chad’s dissatisfaction I quickly racked my brain) – “How about a vegemeatagain?”
Chad gave me a look that said, God I hope the bottom falls out of your share portfolio. All the vegetarians stood up to leave, just as my lovely wife arrived.
Chad’s wife (she stopped and staggered a little at my table) – “We all think what you’re doing is a HORRIBLE… loser.” On they walked.
Me – (speaking to my wife, loudly so the vegetarians could still hear from the door) – “I SHOULD HAVE GONE VEGETARIAN AGES AGO DARLING! IT’S BLOODY EASY!! I MAY NOT BE A HUNDRED PERCENTER, BUT THE COW IN THIS PIE CERTAINLY WAS!!” I rammed some more pie in my mouth.
My wife looked incredulous.
Me – “Not my fault! The six are vegetarians who won’t let me call myself one!”
My wife – “I was gone ten minutes!”
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