Oh dear. Christmas work do.
I’m a vegetarian but I try really not to be the fussy type. When it was announced we were having a Xmas dinner I sent a courtesy email to my boss explaining what I can eat and apologising in advance for being difficult. Now, short of an Angus Steak House
I can pretty much eat anywhere (when pushed I may even be goaded into a leafy salad at said steak house - in the name of diplomacy.) I never make cow noises while people are eating. I hardly even bring up CJD anymore.
We arrive at the restaurant. It’s Japanese. OK, ok, I can handle that. I love wasabi and cucumber sushi. I’ll just order a whole lot of it while they tuck into their sashimi. We move to the table and walk past two or three Japanesesque (i.e. Korean) chefs doing crazy things with flames and seafood in front of bemused diners. Fuck, I think, there ain’t going to be no sushi. I have a kvetch about my meal being cooked in the body fat of a dead animal. Call me crazy. Luckily they make my meal first - fried tofu and bean sprouts. Everyone turns their nose up at the tofu, me included - it’s not my favourite thing in the world but it's the universal vegetarian default food. I’ve had to smile bravely and eat piles of the stuff because “we cooked it especially”. This tofu was completely tasteless except for a thick crust of salt but as everyone was watching I bravely tucked in with my chop sticks, turning the Soya cube back into a sickly curd within seconds.
I finally finished my meal and had to sit as the chef flicked first prawns and then bloody slabs of steak onto the hot griddle directly in front of me. Searing pieces of fat hit me with each crazy flick of his wrist. Oh and there were flames! There’s nothing I enjoy more than an eating experience where only the lucky leave with their eyebrows!
This weekend I ask, nay, implore you at some point to find a vegetarian, look him/her in the eye and say “I understand your pain” before giving them a firm and sympathetic hug.