Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Grown-up temptations and secret addictions

There are a lot of things a.m.k. won't eat. There are a few things he will always eat.

I don't know when I became grown-up. It's not something that you can normally pinpoint to a certain moment of a particular day, saying "ah! that's when!". It kind of creeps up on you like a snake gobbles up a big dead animal. When I open my proverbial eyes and look around at the environment surrounding me, I am swallowed by the snake-skin of grown-up-ness. It's slightly terrifying.

Case in point, I am a more-or-less robust vegetarian. By more-or-less, I mean I haven't eaten meat once since I decided to become veggie "to try it out". The first week into my new lifestyle, veal cannelonis came on sale. That was and still has been the greatest test I have ever faced.

It's been about five years, and I can only recall one or two times where I had picked meat off of something and still eaten it. Once I was at a restaurant and clearly asked if there was meat in any of what I ordered and the waiter brought me something which had what essentially was pig shavings on top (ew). The other time I wasn't even sure if it was meat. Sometimes eggplant looks suspiciously like fish.

Anyways, I am a pretty stubborn individual so not relenting on my vegetarian-ness isn't too surprising, I suppose. What is sort of interesting is that since I was thirteen years old, I haven't been able to eat eggs. I think the time that triggered my "allergy" was when I was sleeping at my buddy's house, let's call him Pat, in my last year of elementary school. He cooked up omelets while I was in the shower, and by the time I was out, my omelet was cold. I think part of the reason why he decided to cook said omelets while I was showering was to teach me a lesson to take shorter showers (or perhaps just to not wack off in it, which he probably presumed took me more than fifteen seconds). I distinctly remember not taking a particularly long shower, but the omelet was cold when I ate it, and it was disgusting enough to make me as close to non-drinking-induced vomitting as I have ever been since age like six. Over the years since that fateful day, I have tried every so often to eat eggs, even scrambled eggs which I didn't mind so much growing up. No matter what, they make me incredibly nauseous after the third or fourth bite.

It's not a severe allergy in that I can eat things like french toast with eggs as somewhat key ingredients, but if it's the main ingredient, it's probably best that I stay away from it.

That last point brings me to my slight aversion for milk/cream. I've heard from several sources that humans continually become more lactose intolerant as they age. I think I am following the human pattern at a slightly more advanced rate than the average homo sapien (cue childhood story number two). When I was in high school, I worked at a grocery store in the dairy department. I was hooked up with this job by that same friend who cooked me that allergy-instigating omelet (is there a pattern here, "Pat"?). Every few weeks I had to work a midnight shift over the weekend and clean the cooler.

I look back on this now and think that I was probably too young to be working overnights when I was in high school, and I am even more surprised to recall how adamantly my mom encouraged me to work these shifts. Anyway, I had to drink like three cups of Tim Hortons coffee just to get through the night, and even still sometimes I fell asleep on my 4am break at the dairy desk. I was still pretty young and not really into drinking coffee yet so I didn't quite know how to take it, and Tim Hortons was literally the only thing around that I could walk to that was open in the middle of the night. So Timmies coffee it was. After a few overnights, I got so sick of Tim Hortons coffee (pulling all-nighters also makes me feel nauseous, especially as a teen) that even the smell of it made me feel sick. I experimented with different ways of taking it because I had no other means of caffeine to stay up and I didn't yet know where to pick up speed or cocaine, and I discovered that if I got it with sugar but no cream, I didn't feel nearly as sick. I began noticing that cream in general made me feel sick when I had more than just a little of it. Smelling spoiled milk all day (even crazy cleaning supplies doesn't completely get the smell out) probably didn't help.

So, I can't eat eggs, and if I have things that are too creamy, I get sick. It seems like veganism is the next step, right? I mean, I am against torturing animals already (most dairy farms aren't too nice to their animals, and even if they are "nice", would you want to be milked 24/7?), and besides, I think drinking another mammal's milk is pretty unnatural, especially as an adult. There's only one (or two) problem(s): I really, really like chocolate milk. And ice cream.

Chocolate milk and Haagen Daas ice cream have been the only reasons for my continued survival some nights (followed closely by Miss Vickie's Sea Salt and Vinegar and alcohol. (Editor's note: The alcohol can be further broken down to the following hierarchy: bourbon; scotch; irish whiskey; other whiskeys/sour mash; beer (two exceptions); white wine; vodka; virtually every other type of alcohol; coors light/corona; red wine). Cutting out milk/cream/ice cream, which I did almost eight months ago, hasn't been as easy as I had hoped.

Ever tried chocolate soy milk? That shit's disgusting. I tried it once and almost threw up. Vegan ice cream? Not nearly as bad, but it doesn't really hit the spot the same way Haagen Daas does. Man, do I ever love Haagen Daas. Peanut Butter Chocolate. I haven't seen that around in awhile, but if they stopped making it, I am going to start a protest with egg shells and used toilet paper outside their headquarters.

When I went home for Christmas, my buddy opened his fridge and showed me about a thousand mini bottles of chocolate milk. The good kind. He slowly drank his and I saw that he was refreshed. I couldn't help myself. I drank two very quickly.

After those orgasmic gulps, I couldn't help myself: I started thinking about eating ice cream and chocolate milk again. Since then, there have been two or three times when I have eaten Haagen Daas or some similar delectable treat.

I mean, I guess cutting out meat wasn't that easy either. I liked bacon and fast food, but the only meat I really liked was veal. And the whole reason I became vegetarian in the first place is because some bitch of a Boston Pizza waitress gave me the dirtiest look for ordering it one day (actually we were kind of friends). Plus, veal isn't as common as other meat, so it's not like I ate it every day (except for a brief period right before I became veggie, to indulge; veal TV dinners went on sale, what can I say). However, I had/have intense ice cream and chocolate milk cravings.

Now I don't want to go full-out back to dairy. I was so close to finalizing my veganism and cutting out cheese. I need an excuse to stop eating pizza three days a week anyway. But now, every once in a while, when I feel the need to be a bad-ass and do something reckless, I go out and drink a bunch of chocolate milk.

That's right.

Instead of going out and getting drunk or having wild unprotected sex with strangers, I drink a tall glass of chocolate milk, looking beside and behind me, paranoid of getting caught. Maybe my nervousness is a throw-back to when I used to drink chocolate milk in the cooler at work and throw the empty cartons into the damages crate, I don't know (no cameras). All I know is that I have a severe chocolate milk addiction that causes me to get out of control.

When you feel reckless by going to Quickie and getting a litre of chocolate milk, you know something has drastically changed from when you were a kid, or even a non-adult. If you were to tell me when I was in high school that my weekend walk on the wild side was to drink some chocolate milk and maybe have a helping of Haagen Daas, I would have cried like I do every time I watch Big Fish.

Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe it's a sign of maturity that the morals I bend to "have a good time" are (arguably) not as unquestionable, as say, stealing stop signs or drunkenly vandalizing buildings with big rocks. Or maybe it's just a sign that I was eaten by the snake of adulthood a long time ago and I'm only now starting to wake up from my delusion and recognize where I am.

a.m.k. has been a closet animal rights proclaimer for several years, but has been bashfully taking it to the streets as an activist for the past two.

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