[Originally posted November 2011]

You watch some of these cooking shows on the Food Network, and they often bring the show to a close with the host sitting down to a big heaping meal and is having a gay old time with a bunch of poncy friends around these sumptuous dishes.  And by the way, everyone always looks like they’re from an L.L.Bean catalog.  No one ever looks like John Belushi.  They’re joyously slurping oysters, carving a massive roast, clinking glasses of exotic libations.  Well, of course they’re fucking happy.  They’re experiencing that brilliant but rare combination of good company and even better food.

Sometimes you don’t get that awesome combination.  Who am I kidding – I’ll bet that we’ve all had mediocre dinners with friends more often than bloody brilliant ones.  It’s the law of averages, isn’t it.  In the bell curve of life, it’s just mathematically impossible to have the awesomeness outnumber the meh.

Still, there are times when the food – and sometimes even just the anticipation of the food – can make the most irritating dining companions seem tolerable. And there are times when it doesn’t.  That’s usually when I take the loss and find alternatives to having dinner with these people.  And by “these people”, here are a few:

People who cut their burgers in half.  What’s the matter with you people?  Are you cursed with small creepy carnie hands?  The average burger too heavy for your noodly arms?  I don’t get it.  What is wrong with the average size of your average burger that you must part it like the Red Sea before you can consume it?  It’s fucking awkward and retarded.  Awktarded.  When the burger arrived in front of you, it was practically perfect in every way.  It’s whole, it’s round, you could bite into it from any side without prejudice.  You can’t do that with a burrito, you can only ever start from the ends; you ever try eating a burrito from the middle?  But I digress, back to the burger.  Whole, it’s fucking perfect.  Then you gotta fuck it up by cutting it in half.  Now you’ve got a meal with sharp edges.  Four of ‘em.  There, you happy now?  Do you cut your hot dogs in half before you eat them?  How about tacos?  You’re fucking right you don’t.  So stop mutilating your burger this way.

People who say crazy shit like “God, I love Outback Steakhouse”. They make a big fucking deal out of eating at Olive Garden because they can stuff their stupid faces with free bread and wilted lettuce.  They actually know the specials by heart at Chili’s.  These people need to have their tongues surgically extracted – clearly they don’t use them.  Off with their noses as well, since that organ is responsible for most of the olfactory function.  It really boggles the mind how people actually go out of their way to seek out these chains, just so they can stuff their fat faces with grease-fried onion plumes and ghastly ribs that look like Jesse Ventura’s open torso in his final moments in “Predator”.  Boy, does that sure sounds delicious – what’s the fastest way to the nearest strip mall!  Stupid chain restaurants.

Vegans. Fuck ‘em.  Remember that “Seinfeld” episode in which Jerry believed his dentist converted to Judaism for the express purpose of being able to make Jewish jokes?  I’d wager big money that more than half of these vegan douchebags developed a palate for their torrid herbaceous consumption just so they have some basis to push their annoying, sanctimonious agenda in your face and criticize you for what you eat.  These guys will put up with shit like congealed soy extract and squash burgers if nothing else for privilege of claiming they’re so smart about food, and to remind you at every opportunity that you’re a massive shithead for having carnivorous tendencies.  It’s never about how good veggies are, it’s always about how filthy meat is.  For these jerkoffs, the foundation of their diet is some demented jihad against something as retarded as a meat lover’s pizza.  Fuck that, you can eat that soy flan all by your damn self.