While I was gone, I became a forcer of vegetarian diets.

Ha ha ha, what a kneeslapper! Gosh, this one never gets old.

That said, we became vegetarians a couple of years ago. Now you know, because like that tired old joke said, if I am, I’ll tell you, and what do you know? I did.

It went down a little like this: Batman went vegetarian first, because she no longer felt comfortable eating animals. She never put pressure on either of us at all, but she politely and firmly declined all meat products that were put in front of her. I got a bit better at cooking vegetarian meals to ensure Batman’s continued good health, and decided I couldn’t be arsed to deal with meat anymore when the vegetarian stuff looked better anyway. Johnny Rotten was told that he could join us in what we were having, or he could prepare his own meat and have that instead. It was all very mature and respectful of personal boundaries. Doctors Phil, Spock and Dre would probably be proud of how emotionally healthy it all was.

That’s a pretty cool thing, even if it was a little uneventful for me. See, no one ever has been surprised when I’ve told them I was veggie. Most sort of shrugged and said, “yeah, that makes sense.” A few people expressed genuine surprise that I hadn’t been vegetarian for years already.

When surveyed, 99.84% of respondents identified this stock photo as a normal photo of me. Wrong! I’d never wear a cabbage hat before Labor Day!

Apparently, if you habitually wear long hippie skirts and have a hemp fiber purse, people will think you are a vegetarian even if you’re the steak-eatingest steak eater that ever ate steak. Often times, they will also think you’re either wiccan or pagan, even if you’re not, that you know where to buy the dankest weed, even if you don’t, and that your name is something weather related like Rain or Sunny or Cumulonimbus, even if it isn’t….. but those are discussions for another day.

And then there is Johnny Rotten.

He wears neither long hippie skirts nor hemp fiber purses. He wears a full beard, a trucker hat with a car company logo and a few dried paint smears on it, and pearl snap button plaid shirts. He honestly looks like he might view a pork chop as a pack of hyenas would view a wounded, yet ever-so-tender antelope. Of course, none of this is true, but it looks like it might be true and that’s enough to cause those ripples of shock and dismay when he is outed as — gasp!– a happy herbivore.

Of course, this is my fault. It must be my fault.

Whenever a man with pearl snap buttons– pearl snap buttons!!— chooses to eat vegetables, it must be because his wife is forcing him to, and he is secretly praying for someone to come along and liberate him from her vicious fiber-filled, chlorophylled dominion*.

99.84% of respondents would identify this as Johnny Rotten. Wrong again! Get it together, respondents!

Just so we are perfectly clear, Johnny Rotten is not oppressed or repressed or even just plain old pressed by eating vegetables. He’s fine, you know, like he always is.

I dont have much experience with it myself, but for his sake I wish more people could know what to say about it, when they meet a vegetarian who they hadn’t thought was a vegetarian in the wild.

I know you get it, but for the people in the back of the class, here’s a really good infographic of how to respond when a bearded guy in a pearl snap button shirt tells you that he doesn’t eat meat.

The lack of wifeblaming lends a certain subtle freshness.

I forgot where I was going with this but I think my overall point was that I am not responsible for anything Johnny Rotten puts in his mouth, and I have been blameless in not only his vegetarianism but also both the Oreo wrapped in American cheez food product and the Thai hot pepper incidents. Yeah.

*- I’d have called it a “banana republic”, but that phrase felt like low hanging fruit in the context of this veg post. Today I cared about that sort of thing. Usually I do not carrot all.

Bonus:

Seymour would like to thank you for reading this whole post. He got bored and took a nap half way through the first sentence.

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Rattus norvegicus is so hot right now.

The hottest new friend right now is the rat. From being the stuff of nightmares to being Pixar’s beloved chef, these little guys have gone all out. Rats have everything: deep orange teeth, kleptomania, a penchant for peeing when they get too excited, and weird toes.

Weird toes?

Yeah, you know how a foot is too long and too skinny all at once and you use it to climb denim and skin? That.

Thanks, Stefon!

So yeah! I am petsitting this summer for Batman’s class rat, Seymour. He’s chunky. He’s sassy. He will shank you for a piece of banana. Obviously, he is my new best friend.

Seymour the magnificent!

Seymour just spent half an hour licking my hands, then fell off my lap, wrestled with my foot, then climbed back up my leg to keep licking me. My hands are never clean enough to meet up to his exacting ratty standards, but he keeps trying to help, and I deeply appreciate that.

Anyway, this post is basically to say the following two things:

1) if you find yourself looking for a sweet little friend who might steal your rings and your heart but is otherwise really easy to take care of, please consider a pair of rats. A lot of folks prejudge them, but they deserve a second look. Kinda like I did when you first met me, and you did when I first met you… or something. You know the after school special type point I’m trying to make here.

2) Seymour will be my muse and/or co-author on this blog for the time being, which means it’s back! He romps around and hoards Cheerios while I sit and watch him hoarding Cheerios, and I feel like my staring is making things awkward between us. I’ll now be blogging to keep my creepy-starey factor to a minimum. It’s best that way, don’t you think?

And then he can fish for his Cheerios in peace.