Ok, I have a million ideas today, and I have to work on the book, but I have recently moved to eating a vegan diet as much as possible* because I just hate the animal exploitation that goes into meat. And it’s not good for me, and my state has no water, and so forth, and so on. It’s not about you. I’m not judging you. Ok? We can start there.
Now, I know that the picking and choosing of what food to eat and not eat is a signal of socio-economic privilege, and I understand that, and I’m usually among the first to roll my eyes way the heck on up in my head when dealing with a Californian who needs to be all ordering off the menu with a dozen requirements for every silly thing from what shape plate they want to switching out cilantro pesto for regular pesto even though the restaurant doesn’t have any damn kind of pesto to begin with.
With that kind of silly crap going on, lines at a sandwich counters stretch on forever, with spoiled brat Californians happily blithering on about their whatever intolerance while the rest of are starving to death in line behind them, desperate to go back to work, while they turn getting a stupid sandwich into a transaction that takes longer than refinancing your mortgage when you have bad credit. I normally love me some Californians, but never, ever, in a sandwich line. It’s a sandwich. it is not a life-changing experience. CAN WE MOVE ON HERE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?
It is thus a matter of some personal (albeit silly) pride of mine that I just ask for a #5 on white, or whatever. On white. Because I hate wheat bread. I always have.
A recent sandwich line innovation, however, has them picking the bread for you. #5s in the world now come on various and sundry buns, and if you don’t want whatever bread product they have chosen, for reasons of economy and to make it clearer to everybody on the sandwich assembly side of things just what kind of sandwich they are supposed to be making here, you have to issue a dreaded special request.
So it is with a great deal of irritation that my self-satisfied, low-maintenance sandwich line rule of never fussing about with special requests during a lunch rush hits up against the hard brick wall of that fact that every single damn vegan sandwich in the world comes on $@!#!! loathsome wheat bread. While you meat eaters are granted rosemary focaccia and Dutch “crunch” buns, BBQ tofu or a simple pile of stupid vegetables always, inevitably, have to be served on wheat effing bread.
I’m dying inside a little inside here anyway: I’m not one of those vegan converts who recoils primly in horror at the very idea of polluting this here temple with animal flesh. This here temple is already way the hell polluted, and I’ve had a jolly good time doing it, thank you, and giving all that up as a concession to age is no small loss.
There are days when I look up, and instead of my students’ faces, I see a whole classroom of cheeseburgers instead, with side helping of biscuit and sausage gravy. Ok? So when I am ordering my whatever little pile of yummy, yummy, healthy raw (or cold slimy cooked) vegetables, I’m already feeling somewhat deprived by the whole deal. The last thing I need to have is my little pile of vegetables served on stupid wheat bread.
I’m Ron freaking Swanson trapped in a body that won’t let me eat what I want.
I get why restaurants do this sort of thing. They are playing the odds, and the odds are that a person who, when confronted with lovely, savory, delicious meat will choose the pile of flavorless veggies is also a person who is going to burst into rapturous praise of -effing wheat bread. “It’s sooooooooooooooo much healthier, like ZOMG, it’s so much more like what our caveman ancestors ate” and “It has sOOOOooooOOOOOooooOOOOooooooooo much more flavor” (yeah, bad flavor) “How can anybody eat that insipid white bread?” blah blah blah. You can find both my husband and my mother in this group, and I wish they’d shut the hell up. (Well, about wheat bread and how I should like it.)
My choice in life is now to eat my sad vegetable sandwich (no cheese, even) made even more disappointing by yucky wheat bread, or become one of the legion of special request whiners cluttering up the world with their ever-so-special demands, thus lengthening every sandwich line I join and forcing all others, who just want to grab a sandwich and get back to freaking work, to wait while I say, “Can I have that on (insert bread that doesn’t suck), instead?” and the minimum wage slave assembling sandwiches has to either explain that yes, I can, or no, I can’t.
*I say as much as possible because it’s hard, and I’m not perfect, so if you see me in an airport grabbing a slice of pizza, please don’t come up to me and say “I thouuuuught you saiiiiiiiid you were a vegan, but this just proves you’re a hypocrite, so there!” Remember: not about you. Trying to forestall the triple bypass here. Ok? Trying to feel less bad about dead animals. You work your program, I’ll work mine. Or not. LIVE FREE OR DIE DAMMIT.