Don't go off at half-cock


Part of a series on dating.


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So I dated this Vegan girl once. And I do mean once, as in, there was the one date. "Candace".

I met Candace at a used bookstore. We were both trying to find the same author in this huge jumble of books, and the natural progression of two people trying to be in the same place at the same time was some awkward conversation, which led to a nice conversation about what we were looking for, which led to a crass circlejerk of "Oh my God! Me too!" which led to her suggestion that we go get some coffee sometime.

I had a better idea - there was a carnival in town that weekend, so I suggested we go. Neither of us had any luck finding the books we were after, so I stuck around and browsed aimlessly and she hoofed it. Couple of days roll by, there's a quick confirmation that we'll both be there, but no further conversation. The carnival rolls around, and we meet up in the parking lot.

There was a lot of giggling and "I haven't (activity) since I was a kid!" and smalltalk. My first hint that something was going to be hilarious was when I caught a snippet of the question she asked the guy running the elephant ear stand: "... those certified organic...?"

Okay. Some of you probably don't know what an elephant ear is. Some folks call them funnel cakes, but they're actually a little different than a funnel cake. Basically, it's a huge, bigger-than-your-face puffy fried dough thing, covered with cinnamon and sugar and sometimes caramel or chocolate sauce. Asking "is that certified organic" is like asking the guy who makes deep-fried Snickers, "How many servings of vegetables does this count for?"

I tried my best not to laugh, but a little bit came out. I was hoping she hadn't heard it, and I didn't catch any sideways glances or anything, so I figured I was in the clear. When the vendor could not produce satisfactory documentation, she declined, and watched me stuff myself while making vague pronouncements about the importance of sustainable agriculture and the health benefits of organicwholefoods (this is all one word).

I pointed out that an elephant ear was about as far from a whole food as it was possible to get, which led to an eye roll, and "It's the principle that counts, not the letter of the law!"

Right.

So a few games later, having mastered many carnie countermeasures in my youth, I have this pile of dirty plastic tokens. Not enough for anything cool yet, but enough that I was considering trading them in for a couple of beers. We moseyed over to the beer tent, where she wanted nothing more than a bottle of water. I gave the man however many tokens for a beer that might as well have been water, and an actual water, and asked if she was worried about driving. I told her I had grabbed a cab out in the first place, and would split it with her wherever she lived, no problem.

Now. She'd explained at one point that she was a vegan, which is fine, whatever. She was a little bit militant about it, enough that it was clear we could probably never go out to eat. I had asked her if she ever made exceptions, as I know several nominal vegans who can't do without real chocolate chips for their otherwise vegan cookies. Her reply was an absolute no, but she did have a great recipe for "vegan chocolate chip cookies" that used soy flour and carob. I asked out of curiosity how much of her diet was soy derived, and she estimated about 90%. I don't know how true that is, but it's what she said.

She also mentioned, in a further elucidation on the concept of organicwholefoods that she only bought certified-organicwholefood tofu. I pointed out that, again, tofu is not a whole food, an idea that she refused to cotton to. This is where I gave up on any commentary short of nodding and "Oh, uh-huh, yeah" when the topic of food came up. Which was frequently, as we were surrounded by cotton candy, deep fried stuff, elephant ears, hotdogs, giant pickles, candy apples, etcetera, each of which shared a glaring fundamental flaw that was repeatedly brought to my attention - they were neither certified, nor were they organicwholefoods, and therefore not fit for consumption. It was in fact irresponsible of parents, and borderline criminal of the carnival and the government to allow non-certified, non-organicwholefood to even be fed to anybody, "except maybe prisoners in prison, or the military."

So, she was a vegan and didn't drink beer. Or wine. In fact, she explained that she did not consume any sort of alcoholic beverage, because to benefit from the death, suffering, or slave labor of any living organism, other than a plant (which didn't count "because they're different") was against her morals and dietary code of ethics.

This latest revelation was blowing my mind harder than seeing Star Wars for the first time as a little kid.

I couldn't help but ask if she knew how tofu was made. For those of you who don't know: It's fermented or enzyme-coagulated soy paste. As in "a product of the slave labor of a non-plant".

She looked shocked, said "No it isn't!" and immediately checked the Wikipedia page from her phone for confirmation. She started to cry, and told me that I was a bad person. My retort was something to the effect of "Well, at least 90% of my diet isn't based on slave labor."

The last thing she said before storming off to the parking lot was, "You really suck! NOW what am I going to eat!?"

For the record, I stayed and enjoyed myself. Elephant ears are pretty good, so I had a couple more, and I ended up giving the giant bear I eventually won to a random kid, to avoid having to pay for the extra cab seat.



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