September 22, 2004

I take it back! No prose without limericks!

"For my lunch, send a meal without meat."
You obeyed my request, which was neat.
But my order entailed
The one place where you failed:
Make it food fit for humans to eat.

Here's one for the "No, that's not what it means" files.

The office had a lunch presentation from a roofing materials company today. The company rep bought us nice boxed lunches to eat while listening to her presentation, and even made sure to accomodate the vegetarians in the office. I apologetically asked her on Monday to see if the catering company could make anything vegan, and if not, I told her, vegetarian would be fine. When the food arrived today the rep told me that the caterer had actually made up a vegan lunch specially for me, which was delightful news. I noted the dish name on the box -- "Green Garden" -- and opened it with grateful anticipation. I will provide you now with a complete tally of the box contents.

  • Napkin, knife and fork, salt and pepper packets
  • Large green salad
  • Fruit cup
  • Slice of bread
  • Standard (not vegan) chocolate chip cookie
  • Ranch dressing

Ooh. They were doing so well up until those last two, and then it just went all to hell. Let me explain.

The cookie is perfectly reasonable -- vegan cookie alternatives are not something I expect standard catering operations to carry -- except that their other snack alternative, which they did not include in this case, is a small bag of plain potato chips (vegan). The dressing, in a small container on the side, may appear reasonable on the surface. People generally want dressing on their salad. I wanted dressing on my salad. I didn't necessarily want a kind with 8 milk products in its ingredient list. Italian dressings are frequently vegan. Vinaigrettes are almost always vegan, and quite delicious on both salads and breads.

I'm coming down so hard on this company primarily because I know that they also make a wonderful red pepper pasta salad which is, now that you mention it, vegan. I've had it before when I was the one placing the lunch orders. Today, someone else in the office chewed happily on a dish of it while I reflected on how much I hate green salads. I considered the delicious oil-and-vinegar dressing on the red pepper pasta, some of which could have been drizzled on my sad dry lettuce to great effect. I could have mopped it up with my slice of bread, and the result would have been so pleasing that I wouldn't have even given a second thought to the cookie/chips cock-up.

Vegan does not mean dry, guys. It doesn't mean bland. Nor does it mean lacking protein, for that matter. I should make up a delicious vegan meal with dressing and seasoning and tofu and non-lettuce-related vegetables, and send it to the caterer with a note saying "This is what vegan tastes like."

Posted by dianna at September 22, 2004 01:22 PM

Dear company X: in your haste
To broaden your customer base
You left out the yum,
So I urge you to come
Kiss my ass: that's a *real* vegan taste.

Posted by: didofoot at September 22, 2004 01:34 PM

Kristen Larson, folks. She'll be here all week.

That just made my day, which was desperately in need of some making.

Posted by: Dianna at September 22, 2004 02:41 PM

glad to hear it.

i am enjoying most the poem/prose combo entries by the way.

Posted by: didofoot at September 22, 2004 03:10 PM

Entry edited to contain a limerick. Not nearly as delightfully saucy as Kristen's, but at least it's passably snide.

Posted by: Dianna at September 22, 2004 03:45 PM

wicked. thank you.

Posted by: didofoot at September 22, 2004 03:46 PM

You're more than welcome, missy. I don't know what I'd do without you encouraging my limerick obsession... besides maybe write fewer limericks.

Posted by: Dianna at September 22, 2004 04:03 PM

i feel like limericks should be encouraged wherever they grow, because they are probably the only useful thing we've gotten out of that sad blight of an island known as 'ireland.' besides potatoes, sean, and me that is.

Posted by: didofoot at September 22, 2004 04:31 PM

and me. and nuala. and lots of other people on CH who are irish.

Posted by: michele at September 22, 2004 04:55 PM

dude, it actually seems like a sadly apt redaction of what *always* happens when you say the word "vegan": the meal gets blandified AND accidentally non-veganed (i.e., cookie over chips; ranch over vinaigrette, etc.). tasty things are removed because nothing tasty could be vegan. aren't potato chips made from puppies?

by contrast, i just got home from the annual lit department grad student reception, where i stuffed myself full of: (1) tasty vegan potstickers with my choice of spicy hot hunan or mild peanut sauces; (2) tasty vegan sushi rolls; (3) tasty vegan eggrolls with plum sauce; (4) tasty fresh fruit plate on which the fruit was not touching the gooey cheese. haha. maybe next time your company should order lunch from university catering.

Posted by: katie at September 22, 2004 07:40 PM

er, i clearly didn't mean "redaction." or "hahaha." too much food. am i just rubbing it in more?

Posted by: katie at September 22, 2004 07:44 PM

I want to order lunch from university catering! Please, God, can I order lunch from university catering????


In a world which contains vegan enchiladas and vegan blintzes and vegan cookies, in which even Safeway now sells vegan aioli and soy yogurt, and for God's sake it's been at least 20 years since anyone had a hard time finding Mission tortillas (which are vegan) and vegetarian refried beans and corn and Spanish rice and olives and jalapeno peppers and garlic and onions and by the way those things combine to make a delicious vegan meal right there, there's just no damn excuse for this. Wake up and smell the vegan crumb-top blueberry cobbler and vanilla caramel soy ice cream, people!

Posted by: Dianna at September 22, 2004 08:06 PM

Sensitivity to others' beliefs was never my strong suit. That said: though I realize that there are a multitude of non-salad vegan food-like consumables, I am struck dumb. From my provincial upbringing, I thought that vegans ate only salad. Huh, you learn something new every day.

Oh wait, right:

And thus Erik learned quite at the last
that most vegans eat more than clipped grass
for that soyful tofu
makes a wonderful stew
(Damn! I can't think of how to use 'ass'!)

Posted by: Erik at September 23, 2004 07:41 AM

Just in case I haven’t said quite
Enough of my vegan fudge sundae last night -
It had fudge, it had nuts,
It nearly busted my guts,
And came topped with two cookies: all right!

i love saturn cafe.

Posted by: katie at September 23, 2004 10:42 AM

Though I equate "vegan" with "bland"
Our market-based country demands
that vegan cooption
through sweet, tasty options
will muffle their moral commands

Because when you make a mistake
and brittle bones shiver and quake
you'll rightly say "sorry,
but industry's sloppy!
And laymen cannot smell a fake."


Posted by: poot at September 24, 2004 08:51 AM

(The following is limerick-based trash-talk conjured in the shower and is not intended to offend... well, not much anyway)

The buttocks are actually meat-
a bona fide carnivore's treat!
The junk in your trunk
means your offer is bunk:
Your ass a true vegan won't eat.

They DO say you are what you eat;
from that they may have to retreat.
You may be a hottie
whose ass smells like broccoli,
but nevertheless it's pure beef.

(P.S. I am not a vegan, wink wink nudge nudge, say no more say no more.)

Posted by: poot at September 24, 2004 10:36 AM

Gah. Bump. I can't look at those anymore, and I refuse to post the brilliant response I came up with because it would shoot my plan of keeping my limericks clean all to hell.

Posted by: Dianna at September 24, 2004 11:37 AM

Oh c'mon, it's a slippery slope from pride to pleasure. Enjoy the ride, and the naughty subtext of this comment!

Besides, if you don't post *your* brilliant response, then *my* even-more-brilliant counter-riposte won't make any sense, and I really, really want to post it. A vote then.

All in favor of Dianna posting dirty, naughty limericks?


Posted by: poot at September 24, 2004 05:07 PM

i have to vote aye here. 1)because i like dirty and 2)because i like watching dianna come down hard on vegan-dissers.

Posted by: michele at September 24, 2004 06:11 PM


Posted by: Erik at September 24, 2004 06:39 PM

I dunno about everybody else here, but I am feeling pointedly NOT scandalized right now. This is most certainly a problem.

And BTW, director of this limerick bout (close kin to insult swordfighting), I'm going to have to rule that a response by Dianna would be out of tempo, and thus you have the right-of-way to begin a new attack at any time.

Posted by: Erik at September 27, 2004 07:20 AM

Hi. My name is Some Jackass Spammer. Yes, that's my real name. Please don't laugh at me. You see, my father is from Uganda and his original last name, Spwmur, means "hard-working and highly skilled baker whose delicious creations are praised for hundreds of miles around". It's a very concise language like that. He really was a hard-working and highly skilled baker whose delicious creations were praised for hundreds of miles around, and he made so much money selling them that he decided to move to the U.S. and turn his business into a global pastry-distributing corporation. He realized the importance of having a name that his American associates could spell and pronounce, so he Westernized it to Spemmer. The immigration officials misread his papers and wrote it down as Spammer, and rather than try to correct the mistake he decided to use the name that fate had handed him.

Two years later he married an embittered ex-sysadmin with a warped sense of humor and a personal pet peeve about unsolicited internet-based advertising.

Posted by: Some Jackass Spammer at December 17, 2004 10:48 AM


Posted by: michele at December 17, 2004 11:59 AM

Thanks. I originally just bitched the guy out, but this is better.

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2004 12:03 PM

well he doesn't actually have any links in his thing. so...mostly i thought it was sort of random and brilliant.

Posted by: michele at December 17, 2004 12:21 PM

Oh, he had links. It was a regular spam of the format:

Some random witticism
Gratuitous page-eating space
"Buy blah buy blah online blah online buy blah"
Signature with link to site

I took the links out, because even though they made the spammer part make sense, they were providing unacceptable advertising.

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2004 01:03 PM

oh, well i retract my nod then. why didn't you just delete the whole thing, silly?

Posted by: michele at December 17, 2004 01:19 PM

Man, I get no appreciation around here.

I was going to delete the whole thing, but then I saw an opportunity for comedy and decided to take it. Give me back my nod, you bastard.

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2004 02:08 PM

It's breakfast at Tiff--er, Dianna's
We're serving up nods and hosannas
The humor don't stink
If you take out the link
And she did, so, CH, go bananas

Posted by: didofoot at December 17, 2004 02:23 PM

Kristen, will you marry me? You get diligent attempts at humor and all the stems you can grab. It's a good deal, really.

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2004 02:43 PM

oh, i totally would but, sadly, you are too fat for me. slim down to a size 7 and we'll talk.

Posted by: didofoot at December 17, 2004 02:48 PM

i forgot to add: sincerely, size 9.

Posted by: didofoot at December 17, 2004 02:57 PM

*sigh* It's a hard life being a plus-size woman. Clearly this is the kind of situation that the beauty-magazine industry is trying to save me from; if I just work a little harder to meet their standards, I might be able to snag myself a Kristen.

In the meantime, if I buy a long-sleeved knee-length dress with a plunging neckline, will you at least take me to stylish cocktail parties with you? I'll buy some boobs for the plunging neckline, don't worry.

Posted by: Dianna at December 17, 2004 03:08 PM

oh, lard-bottom, it's a good thing you have this sense of humor to compensate for your gross fatosity. (an unfunny fattie is life's only real tragedy.) i would never take you drinking; all those sugary mai-tais would go straight to your ungainly hips.

Posted by: didofoot at December 17, 2004 03:44 PM

somebody please write a faux-mean limerick or something about me now; even in jest, these comments of mine are leaving a sour taste in my mouth. maybe i should reconsider having those mai-tais.

Posted by: didofoot at December 17, 2004 03:46 PM