Get Thee Behind Me, Friend

Does your mouth sometimes work independently of your brain? Afterwards do you wish you could crawl into a hole and emerge only after everyone who heard you say what you said was stricken with total forgetfulness of your faux pas, a sort of word specific amnesia?

If you haven’t already deduced that I uttered one of the stupidest phrases ever then you will now.

Yesterday I took a good friend who, along with her husband, had spent the last couple of days with us at Doright Manor, to lunch at my favorite vegan place in Tallahassee. She is not vegan, but was willing to sample what I’d been talking about. Now, this friend is one of the nicest, sweetest, most considerate people in the world. Maybe in the entire universe. I can only aspire to be as kind as she is.

We stood at the counter to order and she proffered her credit card at the same time I did. She and her husband had bought our dinner the night before and there was no way I was allowing her to pay for her own lunch. So I physically blocked her, and to my ever lasting horror said, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”

Satan!? Had I completely lost my mind? My friend, and the clerk at the counter looked shocked, and I just wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.

Now, the only thing I have to offer in my defense is that I’m reading a sci-fi novel about satanic possession in space. Oh, and that one of the regular specials at the vegan place is “Hail Seitan!* Although, it wasn’t on the menu yesterday.

I apologized, even as my friend laughed it off. But holy cow, I’m thinking of having a surgical procedure called a tongue-ectomy. I’m not sure it exists, but it should.

Have you ever done anything remotely as awful? Please tell me you have. I need to believe I’m not the only one. Heck, make something up if you need to.

(*Seitan, made from wheat gluten, mimics the taste and texture of meat.)

Potato, Potahto

Back in the spring of 2019 I began eating a mostly vegan diet for health reasons. Occasionally I’ll have shrimp in a salad, or an egg white for breakfast, and I still put honey in my tea, but 99% of the time I follow a plant-based diet that excludes dairy.

Since I’m not a great cook I eat a lot of baked potatoes, fresh fruits, and salads at home, but my favorite place to eat is Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee where everything is vegan, including the yummiest baked goods ever.

In the beginning when I ordered a meal at Sweet Pea I was full of questions like, “Who’s seitan?” and “Isn’t Tempeh a town in Arizona?” To their credit the Sweet Pea staff answered these questions and more, and finally I found myself fairly knowledgeable about vegan foods. Well, I know what I’m getting when I order, anyway. I’ve become fairly fluent in Veganese.

A couple of days ago I was in line to order at Sweet Pea behind a young couple who were obviously vegan novices. I patiently waited while they asked all of the questions I had asked and more.

“What’s tempeh made of?”

“How about seitan? What’s in it?

“What’s in a falafel?”

“What kind of cheese do you use?

Seriously, this young couple was thorough in their quest to find out what everything on the menu was made from or of.

There was one question that I never asked, though that the male did: “And what are the potatoes made from?”

I looked up from my phone to find the person taking the order suppressing a smile.

“Potatoes. We generally make them from potatoes.”

He went on to tell him what kind of oil they’d be cooked in and that they were locally grown.

I just had to grin. Finally someone asked a question I could’ve answered even in my virgin vegan days. Potatoes are made from potatoes!

Peace, people.