Why yes, Dumbledore, I did just eat a whole cantaloupe for breakfast

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So I realized the other day that cancer scares the sh*t out of me.

I know, I know. Duh? Right? But with my dad’s recent diagnosis, I’ve been thinking a lot about taking my health into my own hands. You know, that thing that we all drunkenly promise to do every January 1 before going into a corner and shame eating an entire pan of Andes Mint Brownies, all the while insisting through the chocolate, “Well, today’s a holiday, dude. I’ll start tomorrow.”


Come on, kids. We’ve all seen this play.

And I say this without judgment. I have not only seen this play. I’ve friggin’ starred in it. Like… since I was 15. But I wanted to break the cycle. And I can honestly say that this time it’s only 5% motivated by vanity. The rest of me genuinely wants to snap out of it. Enter: Eat to Live. It’s a 6 week vegan cleanse which the good doctor Fuhrman describes as “a road that will change your life.” I thought it sounded a bit too much like rehab for me, so I’ve been referring to it as a “Vegan Extravaganza!” (Way more exciting than the whole road bit, am I right? Yes, of course I’m right. Moving on.) 

Trying to find comraderie and support (Because Carter thinks I’m bat-crap crazy), I talked to a vegetarian coworker on my first day sans animal products. 
ME: So I’m doing this Eat to Live thing. I’m a vegan now. I ate a whole cantaloupe for breakfast. 


[Shock on coworkers face]

COWORKER: Wow… a whole cantaloupe?

ME: Yes! Volumetrics, they call it! I have to eat lots of plants now because I’m a vegan and all. No side effects yet, but it’s only day one! They said during the detox phase that I should expect my body to behave like a pissy seventh grader with an authority complex and a Ritalin prescription

COWORKER: Uh huh. That’s…

ME: Weird, right? I know! I’m not really sure what that means, but I’m waiting for it to be terrible. If you listen to my dad when he describes my teenage years, it’s going to be just awful!

COWORKER: Uh huh. That’s…

ME: Crazy, right? I mean, not me as a teenager. Ok, maybe a little. But it’s more crazy about the whole detox thing, right? But we’re in the vegetable club together! We should swap recipes and eat raw lunches and act super superior to our lowly carnivorous compatriots!

COWORKER: I have to go do the… the… I’ll see you later!

This was not a good first day.

Later, as if veganism day 1 had not been rough enough, I decided that I needed to go to the grocery store and buy all of the obscure produce that I never knew what to do with before. (Note: I still don’t know what to do with it.) As I walked through the produce aisle, I saw out of the corner of my eye a man removing an entire wheel of rotisserie chickens from the oven. I’m fairly certain I began drooling like Beethoven (the St. Bernard. Not the Ludwig von. But you probably already knew that). So anyways, I’m convinced that the good people of Publix put an industrial fan behind the chickens when they come out of the oven to “waft” the scent of crispy chicken skin out into the store to sell them. Because that’s the most alluring part of a roasted chicken. And if you say that you don’t enjoy eating the crunchy skin, you’re a liar and should tell the person sitting directly to your right to go upside your head. (My sister always says that. I think I used it correctly. When in Rome, right?)

There was a small puddle of my own saliva on the floor in front of me and like a Looney Toons character, I was soon to be lifted by the visible scent on the breeze when Carter came over with his arms full of packages of deli meat. I’ve never wanted to smack him so badly. But I did not—he had effectively broken the chicken skin spell—and turned my attention to the root vegetables. Yum.

Carter and I were driving to my parents this past weekend for my dad’s birthday and decided to get sushi to go for the vegan and the Italian Meats Sub for the carnivore. Bastard. Waiting for my sushi, I was overcome by the smell of Carter’s sub, which included not one, not two, but THREE Italian meats smothered in melted provolone, banana peppers, and sauce. And when I get overcome, I say things. Stupid things. And then I tell myself to stop talking, to just stop. But I cant! I keep looking for the conversational exit that will never come! (An excellent visual for my conversational backpedaling comes from my exploration of the combat tunnels in Cu Chi, Vietnam. You’re on your belly and there are bats and spiders literally 2 inches above your head and you keep waiting for the exit tunnel. But it never comes! Instead, the lights that you see are merely dim bulbs that light up tiny enclaves off of the tunnel that contain VC and NVA mannequins doing, well, nothing really, other than terrifying poor tourists who hate wax museums to begin with, let alone wax museums A MILE UNDER GROUND! But I digress.) In short, when overwhelmed, I am an idiot.

ME: What’s that thing?

KINDLY SUSHI GUY (KSG): Oh this? This is a slicer thing that keeps us from having law suits from cutting all of our fingers off. It slices sushi rolls into ten even pieces. You see, eight pieces are easy to cut by hand. Ten pieces makes it super likely that there will be a finger in someone’s food.

ME: Oh, wow! That’s kind of like the wheel slicer thing at my grandfather’s butcher shop.

KSG: [Blank stare]

ME: Oh, you know! The one’s with the spinning death blade that you rub the meat all over and it slices it! Carter, you know what I’m talking about! The wheel slicer thing!

CARTER: [Trying to be helpful] The deli slicer with the rotating blade?

ME: YES! Well, I know how you feel having to clean that sushi thing. I nearly lost an arm cleaning the wheel of death. Who lets an eleven year old clean a samurai sword sharp deli slicer?

CARTER: No one. You were not eleven. You were twenty-one. And it was not at your grandfather’s store. It was at the restaurant where you worked. As an adult. No one lets an eleven year old clean one of those things.

But now he’s made it awkward for me. Because I’ve just made my sweet grandpa out to be the kind of man who gives knives to children and tells them to go running with them.
ME: Well I helped when I was eleven. I’m very responsible.

KSG: That doesn’t sound safe. I mean, I’m afraid of this thing and I’m twenty-seven. I mean, that’s just not good parenting.

ME: Well if you must know, we’re German. Which means we’re crazy. But it also means we’re über responsible. Haven’t you ever heard the sound of a Mercedes door closing? It’s magical! Thunk.

[Carter smacks forehead against wall repeatedly to made it stop.]

ME: I’m sorry. I’m a vegan. As of four days ago. Detox is nearly over. And his Italian meats are making me crazy.

[Terrified look on KSG’s face]

ME: He has a sub! Meats as in a sub!

Thank God that Carter was successful in finally hauling me out of there. (The only reason he was able to do this is because I was weakened by my veganism.) But I did go out brandishing chopsticks at KSG, who had his cell phone out. I’m pretty sure he was taking a picture of me to post under the register so that they can refuse me service. Or at the very least, not make eye contact with me.

I ate my sushi in silence. Well, except for the moment where I may or may not have said, “God bless America. Only in America can you eat sushi in a car. You can’t do that in Syria.” To which C replied that you can’t do much of anything in Syria right now. And away we went. All kidding aside, have you seen what’s going on over there? We’ve been a little obsessed with it lately and in all seriousness, it is an absolute crisis and something needs to be done.

Rousing, traffic-filled conversation about the Syrian crisis over, Carter thought that listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on tape might placate me into a vegetable laden stupor. And he was right. Until he began to offer his commentary on how and why Snape does what he does. I was not having this. After a while of this argument, during which I began snarling, Carter offered up this little gem:

           

Carter: You know what, babe? You just don’t care about Dumbledore.

He had gone too far. I may or may not have responded by saying, “If you say that ever again, I’m going to f*** you up.” (Note: I WAS serious, even though Carter insists he knew I was joking. Harry Potter – the only thing that would make me threaten the life of my fiance. Well… besides zombies. If he ever got the virus, I would be very threatening. I may or may not have said all of that out loud.)

This was hilarious for Carter, because within 4 minutes, he had texted the quote, tweeted the quote, and made it his facebook status. Which he only changes three times a year. I did not see the humor. I was serious as a heart attack when I said it, which we all know is quite serious. I happen to be one of those crazies that wishes that Hogwarts was real and that I worked there. And that Dumbledore and I had tea on Tuesday mornings. I totally would have gotten (and KEPT) the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. Oh yea, and I wouldn’t have killed him. Yea, yea, yea, I know it had to happen. Snape’s a good guy, blah blah blah. But it still tore me up. As it should everyone who has read that book. If it did not tear you up, you may want to be examined by your local priest because I’m fairly certain your soul is missing and you should go find that friggin’ horcrux.

Here’s the basic lesson from this post:

1.    Don’t taunt a vegan with chicken skin. It’s just cruel. Deliciously cruel.

2.    An entire cantaloupe is a perfectly respectable breakfast when one is only eating things that at one time had roots. Don’t you dare judge me.

3.    There is something called nutritional yeast. Vegans eat it because it apparently tastes like cheese. Unfortunately, it looks like the flaked fish food. Bought it anyway.

4.    I should likely not be allowed out in public. Or if I am, I should be gagged.
5.    Read the news. I mean it.
6.    Don’t ever insinuate that I don’t care about Dumbldore. I will find you.
Ok, so that was more than a single lesson. But all valid and valuable. Consider
yourself enriched. And read Harry Potter. You’ll be glad you did when the zombie apocalypse comes. Think about that for a while. I’m totally right.
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