ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

“Hey! Max said you were vegan as well? My name is Sammy,” he said.

Greg shook Sammy’s outstretched hand and smiled.

“Yeah! Hate coming to these things but you know how it is! I’m Greg, Max works with my wife.”

Sammy laughed and said he did too, then told everyone in earshot that he’d been a vegan, too.

As the afternoon carried on, the new friends traded old war stories of barbecues past and chortled among themselves over the sheer omnivorous ignorance of everyone else mingling in Max’s backyard.

The time came to grill the meats – the sound of plastic wrap being pulled from supermarket trays, the crinkling of butchers paper unfolding followed finally by the hot sound of sizzle filling the air.

They moved upwind of the grill.

“Are they really going to eat all those lamb chops? There’s like 40 of them,” said Greg.

“You’d be surprised. They all rant and rave about how good they are. They’ll hoover them. God, this rate of consumption is so unsustainable.”

“Oh my God! I know, right?” Sammy replied.

Max, who asked them if they’d like a peanut butter sandwich or something, interrupted their solace on the edge of the party.

They both looked at each other then back at Max.

“Yeah, sure. We’d love that, thanks.”

Smiling back, Max retired inside to the kitchen and spoke quietly to his wife, Melba, who was preparing a garden salad.

“It was such a good idea to invite another vegan,” she said.

“Tell me about it. I read about this study the CSIRO did about handling vegans at barbeques and they said the best way to stop a vegan whining was to make sure there’s two of them there.”

The study Max is referring to was published earlier this week in the lead up to the long weekend where it’s expected close to a million vegetarians and vegans will attend barbeques around the country.

In the report, the nation’s peak scientific body outlined that the best way to cancel out the complaints, snide comments and uppity lecturing that can come with inviting a vegan to a social gathering is to invite another one.

“These people gravitate toward each other, like magnets or something,” said the report.

“If there’s two vegans at a barbeque, they can cancel each other out by talking amongst themselves. Also, vegans can eat peanut butter so make sure to offer them a peanut butter sandwich. If they’re also gluten-free, just hand them a spoon of it.”

More to come.


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