Yassi and I studied the woman at the table next to us suspiciously.
“Special edition,” whispered Yassi. “Nightmare Barbie!!”
The plastic woman-shaped doll thingy pouted and posed and played with her hair and took at least one selfie every ten seconds.
“Do you think she’s having a fit?” asked Yassi. “Should we call for help?”
“No. But we should definitely shoot her before she breeds.”
As soon as the waiter delivered her order, our Nightmare Barbie pounced.
“Is this low fat??”
“Yes,” the waiter scowled.
“Are there any nuts in it??”
“No.” His scowl deepened.
“Is it Halal??”
“Yessss…” His face looked ready to implode.
“And you’re sure it’s low-carb??”
He finally cracked: “For Christ’s sake it’s just a cup of green tea!!!!”
Yassi and I shook our heads as the waiter stomped away.
“We really shouldn’t,” said Yassi.
“Ohhhhh, but we must,” I replied, as I leaned over towards the woman.
I asked her: “Excuse me dear, but do you know what gluten is?”
“Yes!” she yapped. “It’s wheat and bread and pasta.”
She may have tried to frown at me but I couldn’t really tell.
“No, it’s actually none of those things. Tell me, do you like sushi with soy sauce?”
“Yes, of course,” she sniffed. “All models eat sushi.”
“Well soy sauce is full of gluten…”
“What?” Her eyebrows twitched. (Botox one, Barbie nil – thought Yassi)
“I guess you eat cous cous instead of pasta then?”
“Of course I do! Cous cous is from Africa. It’s natural and healthy!”
“And full of gluten,” I noted.
Her pout was seriously wilting by this point and she was itching to take a selfie.
“Maybe you have Coeliac disease?” I asked.
“No way!!” she snapped. “I always use condoms.”
Sigh. “Coeliac disease is when gluten causes your immune system to go wild and to eat your own body.”
“Oh, well. Maybe.”
Shook my head. “So, moving right along… When manufacturers eliminate all of the fat from a litre of yoghurt, what do they replace it with?”
“I don’t know! Who cares? Fat is bad!”
“They replace the fat with sugar and carbs and water.”
“What???” she screeched.
I sat back before she could throw a pot of green tea at my head.
On another occasion we were sitting close to a very slim, very pale young man who ostentatiously flourished his menu and told the waiter, “I’ll have the fish please, because you see, I DON’T EAT ANYTHING THAT HAS A FACE.” He said it loud enough for all of us to hear, so that we could admire his moral stance and his saintly demeanour.
(“Not again,” said Yassi.)
I leaned over and said, “So where is the limit when it comes to faces?”
“What do you mean?” said Saint Numpty.
“Well I’m assuming that cows and sheep are deemed to have faces, correct?”
“Of course!” he barked, giving me a condescending glare.
“What about chickens? Their heads are 90% beak, surely they don’t have faces?”
“Yes they do! Chickens are noble creatures, not just food waiting to be eaten.”
“But surely you could eat the chickens bred by KFC? They don’t even have heads…”
“Oh that’s horrible! Don’t talk about it!!” He shuddered.
“But I’m confused because you ordered fish. Surely fish have faces too?”
“No, they don’t!” he exclaimed. “Fish don’t demonstrate emotions or have facial expressions. They have eyes and mouths, but no actual faces.”
His impeccable logic almost overwhelmed me…
“I know accountants and lawyers who don’t have emotions or facial expressions. Can you eat them too?”
“NO!” he was getting frantic. “They’re human beings!”
“Well,” I said. “That’s debatable.”
Saint Numpty sat back and crossed his arms. Looked everywhere but at me.
I had to have one last poke so I glanced at my watch and then turned to Yassi, “This is taking forever! I mean, come on… How long does it take to grill a couple of panda sandwiches??”
The poor guy fled, screaming.
Food wackos like Nightmare Barbie and Saint Numpty are pretty damn silly, but they’re largely harmless. If they want to live pointless, masochistic lives by randomly avoiding the innocent foods that give most of us pleasure, then that’s fine as long as they don’t try to impose their idiocy on the rest of us. Of course it would be better if they actually understood their own choices, but that would involve studying and reading and thinking…
(“Can’t think,” said Nightmare Barbie. “Too busy sexting.”)
The people who truly deserve to be mocked mercilessly, are the sadists who use e-cigarettes… It is these muppets for whom we reserve our deepest contempt.
Now at this point in time, in mid-2015, most people have grudgingly accepted that cigarettes are bad for our health.
(If you’re reading this and you’re still unconvinced about the danger of cigarettes then please get yourself to the nearest station. There’s a train leaving soon and you need to be UNDER it!)
So what did our clever tobacco companies do? They took the humble cigarette and removed all of the natural, leafy, plant-based elements and threw them away. Then they collected all of the nasty, toxic chemicals that remained and concentrated them into colourful liquids so that brain-dead idiots could vaporise said poison and inhale it directly into their lungs!
That’s like taking a McDonalds hamburger and squeezing out all of the cholesterol and sugar and artery-clogging gunk. Then loading said poison into a syringe and jamming it straight into your heart. Who needs meat, salad and bread? I just want to mainline the toxic gunge within it… Mmmm Yummy.
Some people would lick plutonium fuel rods or drink bottled water from Chernobyl if they thought it would give them a momentary high…
The fact is, every time we step further away from nature, we make things worse. Whenever we take something edible and process it in some way, it almost always becomes more poisonous. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets when it comes to health and happiness. You can’t just eliminate one specific ingredient and then expect to be magically cured. It’s not just the gluten that makes you fat and tired and grouchy, it’s the lack of exercise and the million other toxins that have invaded your daily diet.
The only genuine solution in our messy, messy world is less stress, more sleep, less fake food and more real exercise.
(“And Botox!!!” screamed Nightmare Barbie.)
They’ll set you straight.