Lee Pitts: Soymanella Poisoning
I don’t know about you but I became a little irritated when I read that two of the three largest meat processors have made sizable investments in upstarts that produce fake meat. So, in addition to all the other things we have to worry about, now we have to be concerned that somebody might be slipping us a seaweed burger or a tofu steak. As a public service I’ve made a list of ways to tell if you are about to eat, or have eaten, fake meat.
• Right after dinner there is a run on mouthwash, Pepto Bismol and Tic Tacs.
• After your husband or child hid the fake meat in the bottom of the kitchen flower pot when you weren’t looking, the plant’s leaves turn brown and the flowers all fall on the floor.
• As with safe sex, when fake meat is suspected, everyone at the table starts practicing safe eating habits and using lots of condiments.
• When your spouse puts a “garden” or “farm burger” on the grill Aunt Jemima, Jenny Craig and Marie Callender all hold their noses.
• None of the food is the right color. The lettuce and bell peppers are red and the meat is a congealed green or nauseating yellow. (Sounds like two new potential Crayola® colors.)
• If the fake meat is put in the refrigerator instead of the garbage disposal where it belongs, the milk goes bad, the eggs turn rotten, the butter container decomposes and leaves a big grease spot behind, beer cans swell and pop their tops. While next door in the freezer compartment the ice cream becomes uneatable. (Something I thought impossible.)
• The dog no longer begs at the table and the cat left for good.
• A rat staggers from the kitchen and keels over dead.
• When the fake meat is taken out of the freezer to thaw both the smoke alarm and the carbon monoxide early detection warning device start screeching.
• At a family reunion barbecue a teenage vegetarian girl throws a “farm burger” on the grill and buzzards start circling overhead.
• The man of the house comes home from work, takes one sniff of what’s cooking in the kitchen and insists on treating his wife by taking her out to dinner. (Henceforth, whenever the smart wife wants to go out to eat all she has to do is open a package of fake meat.)
• After eating a study diet of fake meat suddenly all your coworkers have opted out of your carpool. They cancel meetings with you and spray your cubicle with extra-strong cinnamon spice room deodorizer.
• The appliance repairman says it’s the first time he’s ever seen ulcers on a garbage disposal. Two days later the FDA quarantines your home because the ulcers have spread to your cookware.
• It’s 30 degrees below outside but all the windows in the house are open for some fresh air.
• Someone from the Environmental Protection Agency knocks on your door and informs you that satellites have identified your kitchen as a hot spot that is causing global warming.
• A baby nursing on its vegetarian mother says its first words: “Please, lay off the fake meat. It’s giving me gas.”
• You go out to eat with friends at a new restaurant called The Skull and Bones and your server, Rainbow, informs you the special is bird’s nest soup, sweet and sour garden enchiladas, baked pears in a Tofurkey gravy with broccoli milk shakes for dessert. Is it any wonder there are dead flies, termites and spiders everywhere you look? The next day the entire family suffers from “flu-like” symptoms.
• You’re told fake meat will open up an all new world to you and sure enough, after eating some you get the Aztec two-step, the Delhi Belly and the Hong Kong Trotskies. And you haven’t even left your house.
• The hog died.
• Prayers are offered AFTER the meal.
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I got my start in the cattle business in the fall of 1973. You old moss backs will recall that was a very dark time. From September of ’73 through March 1975 fed cattle lost…