Friday, February 22, 2013

I Don't Eat Mammals

       It's my dog's tenth birthday. It's my child's "twenty-third and a half" birthday. They are both glad that I am a Mafist...."one who does not eat mammals". Staying healthy has been the goal...something I really didn't give much thought to until my twenty-first birthday. I'd just started a summer job with Foremost McKesson in San Francisco as a "milkman".
        One of my fellow driver's told me,"Kid, you'll eat your lunch off the truck. That's because you'll never know where you'll be at lunchtime." I tilted my head a little, as he explained, "Things happen out there and every day is different...just bring a bag of corn chips to work and you'll be good." I figured it out pretty quick. I had a truck full of flavored sour creams and yogurts that, when combined with chips, helped me take in all of the food groups. Orange juice and buttermilk went well with blueberry yogurt followed by corn chips with onion and chives sour cream.
        To successfully deliver dairy products to thirty-five customers in the many neighborhoods that make up San Francisco during an eight hour shift,  I had to run, pushing a two-wheel handcart up and down thousands of steps every day. This was why Foremost hired young college students to act as "relief drivers" for summer employment. We had to run, collect "returns"...dated food, record everything in "the book" and take orders for the next trip...which might be three days away. Navigating the streets of San Francisco in a "bobtail" refrigerated truck on a different route everyday was a challenge greater than any job I'd held previous to the Summer of '71.
        What did this have to do with me giving up red meat? I had no social life for three and a half months. I drove from Walnut Creek to S.F. over the Bay Bridge at 3am in the morning...I returned home at 7pm. I didn't go to any barbecues or restaurants for fifteen weeks. I made "a ton" of money and returned to Cal State Fresno in mid-September as a lacto-vegetarian (so-labelled by the first person I talked to, on the first day of Enology class). "You'll definitely prefer the white wines." she informed me be continued........

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