Meatless Mondays

I wanted to try out Meatless Mondays, but I work on Mondays at a restaurant, and so while I made myself this super healthy breakfast, well, I don’t know if it was super healthy, but it was definitely meatless, just a bunch of cereal, just like three bowls of cereal, I just kept eating bowl after bowl until I was full, and then when I got into work, my boss was like, “Hey everybody, I made hotdogs for lunch!” and you know I say lunch loosely, because it was like four, but when you start work in the afternoon and keep on trucking until close to midnight, four is kind of like lunchtime, especially when you consider my breakfast, my box of Frosted Mini Wheats, what time did I eat that, like eleven? Eleven thirty? It’s all off, everything skewed toward a little later in the day.

And there was this tray of hotdogs and I was like, fuck Meatless Mondays, I’ll do Meatless Tuesday this week, because I seriously love hotdogs. One time last summer I ate thirty of them in less than ninety minutes. It’s kind of a long story, or, I guess it’s really not that long of a story, I just have this habit of saying, “It’s kind of a long story,” whenever I want to beef up something boring, you know, when I’m talking about one thing and I get sidetracked and I start talking about another thing. But it was just this regular day last year, I think I had hotdogs for lunch and I was talking about how good it was, I said something like, “Man I fucking love hotdogs, I could eat hotdogs forever, no limit, I could eat thirty hotdogs in an hour.”

I don’t know why I said that. Sometimes when I start talking, especially if I’m talking about something that I like, like if I’m getting really excited about it, I won’t stop, I’ll keep going, I started thinking about Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi and all the great hotdog eating champs. That’s not so hard, I thought to myself, if they could do it, I could totally do it too.

My proclamation was met with an immediate rebuttal, and I doubled down, “I absolutely can do it, thirty hotdogs in an hour,” before eventually scaling back slightly, “Ninety minutes,” never having admitting that I ever said an hour in the first place. Whatever, they gave me the extra half-hour, everybody came over my house, one of my friends tried to be a wise guy and he bought these really doughy potato buns. “No way pal,” I pointed toward the door, “I want real hotdog buns.”

And I did it, even though I felt like shit right after, my fingers were tingling, I thought I saw Jesus coming down from the clouds, he was holding this tray with even more hotdogs, he was like, “My son, eat more hotdogs. For hotdogs are the kingdom of heaven,” yeah, like a bunch of nonsense, total hallucinatory garbage, but I’ve got to say, his hotdogs looked a lot better than mine, and even though for strategic purposes I decided to forgo any condiments on mine, the Lord’s wieners were perfectly dressed, just the right amount of sauerkraut and relish, the buns were these artfully crafted artisanal loaves, they almost looked like mini pretzels, garnished with coarse sea salt, brown on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

But that only lasted like fifteen seconds, then I kind of snapped out of it, people were throwing water on my head, drawing stuff on my face with permanent marker. I never got to bottom of just who drew that hotdog on my cheek, but whatever, permanent marker, you’ve just got to keep scrubbing, it comes out eventually.

So I woke up today and I got myself a bacon egg and cheese sandwich. And right after my first bite I was like, shit, what about Meatless Tuesday? But one, I already ate a bite of sandwich, so I’m not about to throw it away, and two, again I already ate a bite of sandwich, so whatever I wound up doing from here on out, regardless of how little meat I ate for the rest of the day, it would never be a true meatless day.

Meatless Wednesday it was, I guess. I figured, let’s enjoy the rest of the day. I ate the rest of that sandwich with gusto. I got to work extra early that night, licking my lips on the way in, man, hotdogs yesterday, I wonder what’s on the menu tonight. But it was this lentil salad. Totally vegetarian. And then after work I grabbed a slice of pizza. If only I hadn’t had that breakfast sandwich I really could have had a meatless day. I thought, OK, maybe tomorrow will be better. But it was tuna melts. Does that count? What kind of a meatless day are we talking about? How can I really commit to something like this when I haven’t even explored all of the guidelines? And what about that Clamato I had on the way into work? Does clam juice count as a meat? Why can’t I get this right?

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