" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

May 06, 2008

Get your Mango out of my Green Tea Ice Cream

This afternoon I'm in a really good mood. I've passed the first stage of a telephone interview with an employer I'm actually excited about. So, once that's over I decide to go to Granville Island. I walk to the little ferry, get on it, explore Opus and just wander around.

Afterwards I treat myself to a green tea ice cream cone and I'm sitting in the main courtyard, pretty much in bliss,grateful to be enjoying my ice cream and the sunshine. Suddenly, out of nowhere this guy sits down so close to me that I literally have to grab my bag so he doesn't sit on it.

I look at him. It annoys me that he has the entire courtyard and he squeezes in beside me. But, whatever.

So, I'm licking my ice cream. I'm feeling happy. He takes out a mango and starts cutting it in half. Then he looks at me and starts proclaiming something about his mango; something about it being the perfect thing to eat. It's straight from nature. It's fresh and tropical and (full of pesticides) I think but don't say. Are you trying to make me feel guilty I say in a teasing kind of way (knowing that he doesn't really have a hope in hell of doing that because I don't care).

He's a walking stereotype of the earnest, vegan zealot. You can picture him I'm sure. Can't you almost get a whiff of hemp just because he's sitting that close. It's like you wonder if maybe his entire wardrobe, including his shoes, aren't made out of cork or maybe the treads of recalled, recycled Firestone tires. He's clear eyed. He's thin. The whites of his eyes are really white. He's very healthy. If he was a dog, his nose would be cold and wet. He has an accent - German perhaps - and he's proselytizing, as passionately as a Jehovah Witness, except his message is nutrition. Whatever.

At this point I'm wondering what exactly the message is actually and why he feels the need, like a homing device, to have attached himself to me as the recipient. Speak to the hand I think - the sweet, gooey, ice-cream drenched green tea cholesterol laden hand!

"I'm a non mainstream health researcher," he says, "and I have had mentors who have helped me know the lies that exist about nutrition. He said it just like that. Is he an android I wonder. I just stare at him. I remind myself to try and be nice. To just listen. To be curious. To just see where he's going with this.

Then he says, Do you know any other species that feels the need to warm its food before consuming it? I think about that for a second and suddenly out of nowhere, much to my delight, the image of a little Canadian Beaver waddling out of the pond, over towards the microwave with a box of Michelina in its claws enters my mind. (Do Beavers have claws?)

"Well, maybe that's because no other species has the ability to warm it's food up," I say. "They don't own ovens." Maybe that's not the best example of your point I say. It's a perfectly fine example he says. Warming food destroys the food's make-up, alters it's genetic make-up," he says. Alright. I've heard that before. No big epiphany happening for me in that teeny little insight. You're going to have to bring out the wheatgrass-tofu shake and do better than that I think.

"Have you seen what the sad American diet does to people when they eat Kentucky Fried Chicken, or macaroni and cheese?" he asks. I take a quick glance down at my stomach. "That's not even really food," he says.

At this point I literally look up. I look up at the sky. I'm wondering if someone from my past has sent this person to me. Did he just drop out of the sky and land beside me on the bench. Is that why he's so close to me? I sometimes wonder if there are those amongst us who aren't actually human. They're something else. Aliens with messages. Nutritional experts from another planet. My guardian angel in disguise.

It's not the first time I've met some nice young man who socially must have got the last first class ticket on the Clueless train. You just want to give him a lesson. You want to say, look, if you ever want to get laid, let me give you some advice about women because even though I'm old enough to be your mother, I'm guessing your approach needs some work. Can you say Boor? Can you say, ask me if I care what your raison d'etre is?

I listened to him a little while longer. I was really, really, honestly, trying to be patient. Then, he took out the second mango. That's when I decided okay. Enough! One mango worth of unwanted nutritional advice is bearable. Two is just painful.

"Well, I'm going now," I say, practically ripping my bag out from under his butt cheek. "Actually, I was just wanting to enjoy the sunshine. I didn't really feel like a lecture today." I walk away and he yells after me, "But, you're not being honest!"

Honest? I'm not being honest? I didn't even WANT to speak. I had no desire to interact. And besides, I was there first dammit!

Can you say freak magnet? C'est moi!

No comments: