Scattered List Thinking

Because the whole internet is lists, so why not me? 

This is an amazing picture of me from 1991 for no reason.  You're welcome.

This is an amazing picture of me from 1991 for no reason.  You're welcome.

 --There was an awful article in Slate this week by some douchehat who thinks it's funny to trick vegetarians/vegans into eating chicken broth.  I'm not going to link to it, because fuck that guy.  

According to Wikipedia, about 5% of Americans are vegetarian.  The numbers look to be pretty variable, but definitely on the low side.  So if you aren't veggie, here is a thing you probably don't know.

There are different types of bacteria and stuff in our guts that help us digest food.  When you stop eating a type of food, the bacteria that helps you digest that kind of food dies out, because it isn't getting anything to keep it alive.  This is what is hard for people who are lactose intolerant-- their gut bacteria doesn't deal with the dairy well and digesting it makes them feel sick. 


(I'm not an actual scientist, as you may have noticed.  So this may not be exactly right.  But it's probably close enough.  And if it's wrong, feel free to chime in with a comment.) 

So if you stop eating meat, your meat-digesting gut bacteria dies out.  Then if you were to say, accidentally eat beef broth in the French onion soup you didn't look at very closely because it says ONION for fuck's sake-- as a completely random example, shut up it's not my fault -- then you will be super sick.  Like, oh god, I think this beef broth has poisoned me type of sick.  Spend all afternoon in the bathroom type of sick.

It's not good, you guys. 

Basically, this Slate jackass has said that he wants to make his vegetarian friends sick because he doesn't respect whatever reasons they have for not eating meat and thinks it's funny/ok to trick them. 

That is disrespectful as hell.  Why not just go to a restaurant if you can't make even a single dish without some portion of a dead animal in it?  Bake a fucking potato.  It's not that hard.  

I wouldn't feed seitan to someone who doesn't eat gluten.  Because seitan is a meat substitute made of wheat gluten, and if someone doesn't want to eat something, it's rude and potentially dangerous to deceive them into eating it.  It does make FAB sandwiches tho.

Have you ever seen someone have a violent allergic reaction that puts them in the hospital?  Food allergies are not a game!  Why not just give peanuts to the peanut allergy kid? Oh yeah, because he'll die. 

Jesus fucking Christ, people.  No one has the right to violate someone else's body autonomy by forcing them to do something with their body that they don't want to.  What is wrong with people?  Bros, I'm looking sideways at you here, since most of this shit seems to come out of the dude-bro community.  Get your dude-bro shit together.

This Sponge Bob bling is also brought to you for no particular reason.  It was taken with a pretty crap phone, hence the blur.  It's worth it tho.  Because Sponge Bob bling.

This Sponge Bob bling is also brought to you for no particular reason.  It was taken with a pretty crap phone, hence the blur.  It's worth it tho.  Because Sponge Bob bling.

--Speaking of "jokes", I hate fucking pranks.  I hate teasing.  When I find myself participating in that sort of jokey, it's it funny, blah blah, are we even really joking here oh god I'm not sure if this has taken a turn kind of thing-- I feel fucking bad about it later.  I'm not going to participate in that stuff anymore, and when I catch myself going along with it, I'm going to stop myself.  

I was severely bullied as a kid, and even now, sometimes teasing that I know is friendly will catch me wrong and make me horribly upset.  Not to mention ambiguous teasing where I don't know the person very well.  Then I feel like I can't breathe. 

What do you do when everyone is having a great time joking around and then suddenly it feels like you're caught in a goddamn nightmare and there's no way out?  People say you should speak up and ask the person to stop teasing you, but I haven't had a lot of luck with that.  

Not to even mention fucking pranks.  Have you ever seen the shows on TV where people set up their loved ones? I was watching a show like that with Mikkie and Ryan and the prank was that they made the maid of honor think she had ruined the wedding dress. And they then put that shit on TV.  

I swear to god if someone did that to me... I would have a panic attack.  I probably wouldn't talk to that person for a year.  I'm having a little bit of a palpitation just thinking about it, so I'm going to move on.



--Sometimes I miss the South.  When people ask me what I miss about it, I'll usually say the food, because god DAMN Southerners know how to cook.  I couldn't commit to going vegetarian until I had figured out how to de-meat my down home Southern soul food.  That shit is my comfort.  And it wasn't easy, cause Southerners put meat in everything.  Every damn thing.  I had to learn a completely new way to cook. 

I had good reasons to leave.  I needed more opportunities.  I have a fine arts degree.  Jobs in Savannah were not exactly thick on the ground.  And I think I made the right choice for me.  But man, sometimes it is unspeakably hard.  Everything I ever knew about social situations just doesn't work here.

So much of Southern culture is about coded meanings.  What do people actually mean when they say things.  Everything is approached from an angle.  It's not really possible to tackle most things head on, so you have to sift the meanings out.  It can end up being a little exhausting, as the coded messages can get tangled, and there are frequently miscommunications. 

But at least I have some kind of clue as to what the basic shapes of meaning are.   The Northeast and the South might as well be different countries.  Sometimes it gets to be really grinding to have to try to constantly figure out what's going on.  And that's when I wish, just for a second, that I could go home.

Which is pretty ridiculous, because I hated being there and couldn't wait to leave.  But I didn't know how hard it would be.

(All my Southern friends and family-- I'm not coming back to stay.  You can't entice me with boiled peanuts and cornbread.  It might be nice to visit though.)