I’m with two women I don’t know too well. We go for a pub lunch. It’s not a pub of gastric delights or hipster gentrification, instead the sort where nothing on the menu costs over a tenner. One of my companions asks what I’m having. I pick up the wipe-clean menu.
I’ll see what veggie stuff they’ve got, let’s have a look see…
I don’t eat meat.
What! You don’t eat meat!
No, I don’t eat meat.
I can’t BELIEVE you don’t eat meat! Who doesn’t eat meat?
I hope you’re not one of those who goes on and on about it when someone eats meat in front of you…
Oh no, I’m live and let live, me.
Because if you are, you’ll HATE me!
Because I love meat, me.
Yeah, I do. Lovely, dead animal (rubs belly)
There’s nothing I like more than a day out in an abattoir!
It goes on like a Monty Python sketch, I’m waiting for a goose-stepping John Cleese to appear and Michael Palin to tell me I’m lucky to live in a hole in the road (or something) but there’s no one to rescue me. My jaw hurts with all the grinning and bearing and I’m tempted to escape through the toilet window just to get away.
An hour later it’s over, they’ve run out of steam or so it seems but I don’t trust anything anymore, it’s all too weird. I make a run for it. As the quiet air outside soothes my nerves I start to think maybe the 21st century isn’t quite ready for me and my controversial lifestyle as yet. It will be soon, though. Soon.