Monday, January 17, 2005

When Does the Fun Start?

So I've been trying to eat less meat. I can just hear my old roommate, Ben, calling me a pussy right now. To that, I'll hold up my hands and say, "Sure, I cave. You got me." I'm not saying I'm doing the vegetarian get down, because I am a weak, weak man. But I'm having some meat-free days.

This said, the other night I went to one of my favorite taquerias, Taco Loco, and ordered a vegetarian burrito. I actually kind of felt like it, you know? I was hungry, and I was looking forward to it. But it got all up in my head. The first few bites were like the first few bites of any burrito, when you're getting close to the meat...anticipatory. But then, it was that "something is seriously wrong here" feeling. Like, all right, here's the filler...where the fuck is the flavor? And you know I got refried beans, because they're the tastiest...especially if lard finds its way into the mix. About half way through, I hit lettuce. That's like mining for gold and finding plastic. Not quite satisfying. I don't really go for the lechuga in my burritos, anyhow

By the time I got toward the end, it was just work for my jaws. Like a straight dude sucking dick for money...the motion was there, but not the emotion. "Sustenance, oh boy." Like space jacked do you think the astronauts really were on Tang? "Oh, more Tang, kick ass." All the machos around me are eating carnitas and al pastor and I'm eating fucking lettuce like a goddamned overgrown Brier Rabbit. I could smell the fun they were having.

And the grease pocket. The best part of a burrito is when you get down to the nub, where all the pork juice has filtered it's way down into the last bit of rice and beans and tortilla. Pure chewing satisfaction. Flavor country. Let's just say, when the water from the lettuce gets down there, it's not quite the same feeling, okay?

I really feel for people who have a bitch of a time getting sober. I quit drinking when I was 17, and I've never relapsed. (Golf applause.) I'm not going to fall for that AA meeting "out-drunking each other" get down. I think of the Ice Cube line, "a bunch a niggas on the floor trying to out-dance each other." You know, for shame, right? At every meeting, for every dude who shit his pants in church trying to pray his way out of a week long vodka drunk, there's another guy who'll step up to the mic and brag about selling his dead mother's wedding ring for a pint of Royal Gate. "My rock bottom is lower than your rock bottom, na na na na nah nah." Yeah, you go, girl. I was 17--I got punched in the face a few times, peed my pants in my friend's closet on top of a few dozen Meister Brau empties. It probably wasn't that rough, but I knew when I was through, you know?

Point is, I'm glad I quit when I was drinking shitty beer as fast as I could. Because as soon as I forgot what being drunk felt like, really, I didn't miss the taste or the ritual or the sensual pleasures of booze itself. But it's way too late for me with the meat. I really don't want to get the comment on this from the well-meaning vegetarian that's going to tell me about the awesome grilled veggies at Pancho Villa. Because it's like, fuck you buddy, what the fuck can you tell me about deep fried pork? You gonna match up your pathetic zucchini next to some car-fucking-nitas in a Pepsi challenge? Didn't think so. You done lost the memory of the flavor, so you don't know how bad the craving for meat relapse is for a guy like me. Ask Sassy, she tried it...she knows. It's rough.

So yeah, I had my cruelty-free burrito. It was about as fun as eating fiberglass insulation if you're not a Conehead. And the setting made it worse...I've had some of the best greasy Mexican meat products possible at Taco Loco. It was like getting back with the best fuck of your life and she's only down for a hand job. Don't do me any favors, you know?

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