Good evening everyone, how are we doing tonight?
*muted conversation, broken by the sound of chairs scraping as they are drawn into a circle*
Great, that’s great. Ok let’s get started here. Take a seat everyone, and feel free to grab a tea or coffee…
Yes Melinda we have soy milk…
*pause* … and almond milk…
*sigh* … of course we have rice milk Melinda. This is a safe place remember?
But great work on being assertive about your requirements – you’re really making progress!
OK now we’re all settled I’d like to welcome you to…
Dietary Anonymous – or DA as we like to be called.
I’m happy to see a few new faces in the group. If this is your first DA meeting I’d like to extend a whole-hearted welcome. We’re so glad you’ve found your way here!
To those of you who are regular attendees welcome back! Great to see so many familiar faces.
So who’s here tonight?
Have we got any allergies?
Yep OK I can see we got a couple of Pea-no’s. For the newbies that’s our lingo for those with peanut allergies – don’t worry you’ll catch on as we go.
We’ve also got a couple of shelfish allergies who prefer to identify themslves as NSOTB’s – which of course stands for “No Shrimp on the Barbie”.
Have we got any Intolerances?
Any Gluten intolerances or coeliacs? What about other intolerances? Dairy, eggs?
No Melinda, intolerances to jerk-offs like your ex-boyfriend Giles are still not recognised.
… Because DA is about dietary intolerances i.e. things you EAT.
*grimace* … well if you did eat him Melinda then I can’t say I have much sympathy for you! Besides that’s a matter for a different kind of support group altogether.
What about non meat-eaters?
Any “morally opposed to animal slaughter” or “just find the whole meat thing a bit icky” vegetarians? Yes? Great, welcome, welcome.
Ok I’ve just noticed we’ve got a few of our more… uhhmm… hard-line members here.
For those who are new I’ll explain…
Some of our members are so passionate about their particular dietary requirement that they’ve actually formed militant splinter groups to support their cause.
In the past we’ve had some pretty serious in-fighting between the two major gangs – Vegan Vengeance and the Gluten Gang.
I can see there are a some members from both gangs here tonight. Sorry people but I’m going to have to ask that you don’t wear your colours into the meeting.
We’re all here to draw strength from common struggle and I will not tolerate a turf war here in our neutral space.
And on that note I’d like to take this moment for all of us to connect with our higher power.
Let’s all join hands with our neighbours and recite the “Dietary Prayer”:
“Lord give me the strength to not eat the things that I have chosen not to eat, the serenity to accept the things I am not able eat and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I think for the remainder of this meeting we’ll focus on our Creed. The Creed is a set of principles that we use to help maintain strength and conviction in our dietary requirements, in a world that often doesn’t understand us…
1. I will at all times emanate an air of superiority towards the mere mortals trapped in their meat, gluten, dairy peanut eating hell.
This superiority shall comfort me when I go to yet another restaurant and am forced to order the “Roast Vege Stack” AGAIN, while knowing full well that it consists of everything that was left at the bottom of the Head Chef’s vegetable store chargrilled beyond recognition so it will look “rustic” as opposed to “stale”.
2. I will stand firm in the face of taunts regarding the hypocrisy of wearing leather shoes while refusing to eat meat.
I will only condescend to the level of my tormentors briefly to deliver such crushing blows as …
“I know you are but what am I?” and…
“A stinking meat-eater says what?”
3. I will be the one person at any office morning tea or birthday celebration that refuses the cake with a saintly “Oh no, not for me thanks, it’s got gluten in it” causing everyone who has just broken their diet to have said cake to be consumed with guilt.
This rule may be overlooked if it is decided the cake in question looks exceptionally yummy, or if it has been purchased from a particularly expensive patisserie.
4. I will treat with forbearance any dick-heads that ask if they can “have a go” of my Epi-pen.
Stabbing these people in the eye is NOT the answer… no matter how tempting it may be.
5. When eating in public I will show solidarity with my dietarily-challenged comrades by only eating organic vegetables, soy products and lentils.
Even if at home my diet mainly consists of oven chips, Nutella from the jar and vodka.
6. I will reserve the right to RSVP to functions indicating that I require a special meal.
From that time hence I will set about a lengthy dialogue with the venue to ensure that my meal is prepared by virgins who will undertake to wash each ingredient thrice in the purest mineral water before adding it to my meal.
And when I then and then do not turn up to the said function, know that I have wreaked vengeance for all of you my dietarily afflicted brothers and sisters!