Hell of a Guy

A Dozen Years - August 11, 1995

08/11/2007

Picture this:  August 11, 1995, this Hell of a Guy was driving back to Richmond, Virginia from a weekend in Grafton, West Virginia – the former home of The Nancy.  It was late afternoon and I was hungry.  I zig-zagged off Interstate 68 at exit 22 and made my way north about a quarter of a mile to a Burger King restaurant…you know, “Home of the Whopper.”  I have never viewed fast food as good food, or, for that matter, anything other than just filler.  Bulk food is all that it is.  This time was no different, except that I was about a third of the way on a 300 mile trip and I was hungry as hell and the Burger King was about the only game in town.  I got a Whopper, some fries and a Diet Coke and ate it all; more like scoffed it down, as I drove eastward and homeward.  Just about the time I finished these epicurean delights, I began to feel a little queasy.  The further I drove, the worse I felt.  Stomach cramps.  And pop-pop, fizz-fizz, Alka-Seltzer was not the answer.

This “sick feeling” is something I had experienced about once a month for over four years prior to this episode.  I referred it as my “period.”  Stomach cramps would begin as merely a sensation and worsen throughout an eight to twelve hour period.  Eventually the cramps reached a crescendo with me doubled over with a searing pain in my lower abdomen, then I would get sick (such a nice word for puke) and then the pain would quickly subside leaving me in a weakened condition, but I was good to go for another month or so.

On this August the 11th, as I managed to drive myself the other 200 hundred miles to Richmond, my stomach and I made the momentous decision to cut animal flesh out of my diet.  I just assumed it was the meat making me ill.  No more burgers, steaks, seafood, pig meat and definitely no fowl.  Having never really been a big meat eater, giving up barnyard scavengers was not all that hard.  I did miss some things – Calamari, sushi, a really good hamburger, maybe even pickle loaf sandwiches and Thanksgiving stuffing, but only for a couple of months.  Other than that, I cannot think of a thing I miss, and looking at my overstuffed, ever burgeoning body, you might think I drink pig fat by the gallon.  Actually my calorie intake is about the same as it was before I shunned meat.  These days a lot of my calories are provided by copious quantities of India Pale Ale.  Ovo-lacto vegetarians don’t necessarily have to look like Gandhi.  But one thing is for sure, I have not been ill since I gave up critter. 

Well, today I officially declare an end to my meat fast.  I end my claim to be a vegetarian.  I will not tell anyone from this point on that I do not eat animal flesh.  Does this mean I will dive into a huge plate of chitterlings and bratwurst?  No!  Is a visit to Chic-fil-A in my future…probably not, and definitely no Burger King.  In fact, I probably will not alter my diet at all.  I will, however, deny, deny, deny that I am a vegetarian.

Mainly this is being done to keep The Nancy from telling people that I am vegetarian.  Many times when we have been out to enjoy a meal, she, for some reason, has felt it necessary to explain her oddball husband’s dietary eccentricities.  Not that I really care one way or the other, but it gives me something to bug her about, and, after all, it’s why God brought us together, and probably why she loves me so much.  She must; at least she hasn’t shot me, yet.  Anyway, so long Hell-of-a-Vegetarian.  I have rejoined the mundane world of meat lovers and carnivores.  It was nice while it lasted.  Now I can just be a regular, nothing special guy.  No “Hell of a” or anything like it.  Just regular.

And that is all I have to say about that… 
 

 
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