The Vegetarian Dog: Bitch That’s Tubby Custard

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Last week, Mel and I finally made a return trip to Hot “G” Dog after a brief hiatus. A week or two had passed since my last Hot “G”, but no matter how long I pushed back the inevitable, I just wasn’t feeling it. Summer brings with it manifold opportunities to eat cold, greasy trash and sweet creams with gummy toppings, and I had taken hearty advantage of all those opportunities, so my insides had gone all gooey and slow-moving like a game of PipeDream played with molasses.

But it had been a long time since I’d posted to the blog, and Ida was going to lap me, and Hal had already bested me in meandering, evocative errata department so I had to get back on that fuckin pony. I had to. I couldn’t just wait for my hunger to ramp up and demand meat and cheese and pickled dressings. I had to be the change right now. Plus, it’s not like hot dogs are like, bad.

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(remember when your friend and mine, Betty Drapes, told her invasive creepy Freudian therapist about how much she likes hot dogs? I always thought that was just the funniest thing. It’s easy to imagine Birdie getting drunk and going buck wild on a steak or a plate of oysters but fucking hot dogs are her trigger food? Oh none of you remember that? Okay)

So Mel and I set a date and I spent the morning while she was at work studiously eating only apples and drinking room-temperature water from the bathroom sink. The water from the bathroom sink is way tastier than the water from the kitchen sink, trust me. The kitchen sink smells like three-year-old Chipotle flotsam and Raid. Plus that room is full of brick and cement speckles because our landlord decided to have the exterior walls of our building sawed off.

I wasn’t hungry in the slightest, but knew I would eventually have to be, because I’m alive, you know? Plus Mel was getting off of work at like 4 or 5pm, which ought to have been ample time to rev my internal engines and get the pre-digestive stomach acid a-flowing. But I was about to have my period, so I was bloated, and I think somehow the bloating occurs internally as well, because my stomach was just not responding to time or physical exertion or its own mortality with any kind of reasonable hunger cue. Fuck why am I always refusing to be hungry this sucks.

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Of course, when I say “my period”, I don’t exactly mean my period. I’ve been on hormonal birth control since 2006, when I was a freshman at THE Ohio State University. I could go into the whole deal — the gyno who told me to stop shaving because yeast infections can live and propagate in the little cuts that are formed by cheap razors, the strange guttural displacement that occurred that first time someone shoved a plastic speculum inside me and then squeezed it open like an awful muppet, the way I couldn’t wipe or masturbate for days afterwards because I felt dissociated from that part of my body — but, well, okay, I guess I did just tell you the whole deal.

It was kinda wack, but not as wack as that time my hematologist whipped my boobs out in front of his interns and made them stare at my breasts and note that their bumpiness was “about what you would expect in a patient this age”. He also made them note how springy and not-saggy they were, which I don’t think is relevant medical information. Actually none of that was relevant medical information, I was there to hear about my got-danged blood test results. Anyway, I decided to report the bastard to the Illinois Medical Board; his name’s Alan Gilman and he works for Presence Hospital in Lakeview in the Hematology/Oncology Department so feel free to tweet at that hospital or something on my behalf, I’m serious.

Anyway, like I was saying, I’ve been on birth control for about a decade, which means I haven’t had an honest-to-jeepers real-deal period in just as much time. The bleeding that occurs when you’re on BC is a weird contrivance, it’s not medically or biologically necessary, it’s just something that doctors decided to keep when they were first conceiving of the pills in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. There is no desiccated egg in that pile of purple goo that comes spurting out of you, and as far as I can tell (it’s hard to get a clear answer on this) bleeding while on BC isn’t even an effective method of determining whether you’re accidentally pregnant or not. Supposedly if you make an oopsie and get pregnant on the pill, you will stop having fake periods, but the real answer is that being pregnant on the pill and bleeding is rare, not that it’s impossible or that one precludes the other.

God I hate having boobs and pregnancy equipment sometimes. I mean boobs are okay. Like, they suck to have in a lot of ways but I know they look amazing and I would miss them. But even thinking of pregnancy makes me want to retch. Contemplating the processes of getting pregnant, carrying a baby inside my uterus, pooping it out, and good god, worst of all, extruding sweet cream out of the mutated sweat glands on my chest in order to feed it gives me the BIGGEST AND MOST ALARMING skeeved-out feeing and I really can’t understand why anybody is jazzed about it.

Being disgusted by imagining myself pregnant is the closest thing to, like, actual gender dysphoria I experience, I think. I used to have a boyfriend who thought it was “disgusting” and “cold” and “inhuman” of me to not want to pinch off a baby from my cervix, and just the thought that someone believed I had an obligation to be a seed-pod for somebody’s spunk made me want to cut myself off at the waist and crawl up the walls by my fingernails screaming like a swamp-dwelling banshee. I hate it. That is not me.

And yeah, I know, I know, plenty of women don’t want to get pregnant and find pregnancy disgusting and that doesn’t make them less of women, and plenty of non-women would LURVE to be part of the MIRACLE of spraying placenta and guts across a hospital wall, but like, this is gendered for me okay, and feeling divorced and disgusted by and disinterested in the whole thing is definitely an solid illustration of why and how I don’t feel like a woman. I don’t know, I know that you don’t have to want to do that stuff in order to be a woman. I get it. But I’ve always been gobsmacked by the idea that my shitty body is even capable of such a terrifying and fucked up thing, and I really wish that it wasn’t. Wasn’t even capable. I want to be outside of that equation as much as possible. I just want to be a looming bodiless specter of spite haunting the earth that never has to menstruate or buy sport bras.

It’s cool if you love the smell of babies and want to make a nice hearty placenta chutney. Namaste. Continue on your beautiful journey. Some of my best friends love babies. But like I really can’t talk about breastfeeding with you because I want to singe my nipples off with a welding gun if you tell me about the nuts and bolts and bleeding nipple cracks involved.

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I ordered the Veggie Dog hoping to get one of those grainy, black-bean-and-corn-infused, high-fiber little logs that you might buy in the fancy vegan section of the Mariano’s. I thought, very ignorantly, that all faux-meat was like that. And I thought, hey maybe this will be great, I’ll get some nutrients in me, perhaps a bit of roughage, and then I’ll feel a little bit less puffy and more regular, gastrointestine-wise.

I was so wrong. #Downtofail2016.

Melanie ordered a classic Chicago dog. Regular old salty brothy substantial hot dog. She did this even though it was Hot Dog Day at her work, and she’d already had two hot dogs for lunch. What a fucking martyr oh my god. Anyway, after placing our orders and dithering around in the empty Hot “G” for a few minutes, these two impassive enigmas are what we got.

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I selected one dog at random — basically I took the smaller one at first. I opened up a small section of the wiener’s tail with a fingernail (I’m awful). It looked plump and juicy. I ate the little ripped-off hot dog nipple. It was slightly fibrous but moist, with a salty umami flavor. It tasted like a hot dog. I panicked a few times and asked Mel what we should do. I might have overreacted. We switched hot dogs again.

Again, I opened up the end of this new dog with a finger.

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WHAT. It’s PINK INSIDE TOO? I was totally confounded. Melanie and I had spent the last ten minutes talking about placenta eating recipes, and looking into the mysterious pink murk of this maybe-vegetarian dog was not helping with my bodily discomfort or my nonexistent appetite. (Melanie also taught me about the horrific Placenta Teddy Bear. DO NOT GOOGLE THIS. Block this heinous aberration of God from ever appearing on your computer, using Tumblr Savior or some kind of tagging system. Do this in remembrance of me).

After probing this mystery not-meat for a few more minutes and monologuing about my anxieties, I said fuck it and tore in.


This hot dog. Well, it’s not meat, I’ll cop to that. But it is not “vegetarian”. It’s pink dyed soy protein and jello jigglers in a nylon stocking. It’s fucking gak and in a condom cooked over medium heat. The texture inside is nothing but bland, artificial, gelatinous WRONG.

Have you ever eaten something not fit for human consumption? Maybe you were four and you tried to eat a poop? Or you got hungry during playtime and swallowed one of those sticky wall-cling hands? Or perhaps you were at your sister’s track meet and you opened a bag of mini-muffins that you’d found in the back of your mom’s kitchen cabinet and then popped one into your mouth without looking, only to realize as saliva flooded your mouth that it was COVERED IN BITTER, FLUFFY, SEA-GREEN MOLD?

Only one of the above happened to me.

This hot dog, like the moldy muffin, flooded my palate and stomach with a prevailing feeling of WRONGNESS. It was not food. It was not good. None of this floppy pink mess was good for me or useful to my body in any way and there was no reason for me to be consuming it. It was (as my friends at the You Don’t Understand Podcast say) Notably Not For Me. It just felt off and wrong and ill-fitting.

Like the concepts of pregnancy, breastfeeding, placenta-eating, and most other culturally sanctioned trappings of womanhood, this hot dog was fucking off-putting to me and did not jibe with me on a cellular level. That doesn’t mean it’s bad for everyone. That doesn’t mean it’s bad at all.

Okay, that’s kind of a lie. Pregnancy, breast feeding, placenta-eating? Those are all fine things for some. But this hot dog is really just awful don’t try it. And don’t google Placenta Teddy Bear.

Originally published at

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