To my readers:


       Following you will find a sample of my work. Please feel free to comment at your leisure.


Would You Like Some E. coli With That?


            “Good evening, sir, and welcome to Umberto’s. Is this your first visit to our restaurant?”

            “It is, indeed, and I like the looks of the place. Great décor—warm and cozy, like a British pub. And I like everything that I see on your menu, too.”

            “I’m delighted to hear that, sir. We take pride in both our ambiance and the variety of our dinner options. May I get you a drink from the bar?”

            “Sure can. How about a scotch and soda on the rocks?”

            “Certainly, sir. Did you want microorganisms in those ice cubes?”


            “Microorganisms, sir. Caused by the liquid manure run-off into water from the catchment ponds used in factory farming. A very common procedure, sir, I assure you. And, really, you might not even get sick from it. Sort of like playing the lottery, you know.”

            “Liquid manure run-off. Uh—well, I guess you can skip the ice.”

            “Very well, sir. Would you like some BPA with the rest of your drink?”

            “BPA! What are you talking about?”

            “You don’t have to squawk at me, sir, I’m just giving you one of the options I mentioned. BPA is a chemical that leaches from hard plastic bottles into the product, and thus into people’s bodies. The American Chemistry Council discounts any suggestion that this might be a health risk, but one never knows. Then, of course, there’s the horribly detrimental effect of the plastic bottles themselves on the environment. Now, if you don’t—“

            “Hell, no, I don’t. All right, then, skip the drink. Just bring me a nice juicy steak, blackened on the outside and medium-rare on the inside, with all the trimmings.”

            “By all means, sir, right away. Would you like a malignancy with that?”

            “A malignancy! For the love of—“

            “I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t hear the rest of your comment. It’s hard to understand any words when your face is flat down on the table.”


            “Forgive me, sir, but it’s almost as hard to understand you when you’re speaking through gritted teeth. As a wonderful addition to that steak, please be aware that the carcinogens from grilling have proven to cause humans a higher risk of colorectal cancer.”

            “God help me, this is getting ridiculous. All right, all right, forget the grilled steak. Just bring me this nice plate of sweet and sour pork, instead.”

            “I’ll be happy to, sir. And would you like a nice plate of E.coli on the side?”

            “E.coli? What now!”

            “Well, sir, if you’ve ever seen factory-farmed animals, you would know that they endure lives of utter misery in utterly cramped and cruel conditions. Because disease is so rampant, they are fed massive doses of antibiotics—20 million pounds a year, in fact. Are you aware that you, as a private citizen, could walk into any Farm & Fleet and legally buy penicillin and tetracycline, as well as the disposable needles?”

            “And just why in the hell would I want to do that?”

            “I’m just proving a point, sir. To inform you that humans, by consuming so much meat, are also consuming the drugs. That scenario helps to create antibiotic-resistant bugs. So, chances are, if you get really really sick, whatever pharmaceutical you take for it won’t be effective.”

            “Oh, so that’s what you’re talking about! E.coli infection? Fine, I get it, I get it. You can stop nodding at me as if I were a backward student who’s suddenly come up with the right answer to a question.”

            “Not backward at all, sir. But you’re absolutely correct. An E.coli infection could be serious. Could be fatal. And guess what: the diet of feedlot cattle consists mostly of grain instead of healthy grasses, so high in protein that it messes up the cow’s digestive system, along with chicken rubbish—feces and feathers. You are what you eat, sir. Consider that next time you’re swallowing beef that’s been fed garbage and animal waste.”

            “Okay, look, lady, you’re getting on my nerves. I’ve had a hard day. I don’t want a lecture, I just want a relaxing meal. Is that too much to ask? So how about this item: spiced bluefin tuna and pineapple glaze?”

            “Right away, sir. Would you like mercury poisoning and PCBs with that?”

            “Would you like a fat lip and a bloody nose?”

            “No need for violence, sir. An informed diner is a healthy diner.”

            “Dear God in Heaven. Fine. Forget the damned fish. Gimme chicken. Some kinda chicken, I don’t care what kind. Got it?”

            “I got it, sir. Would you like some salmonella with that?”

            “Bloody hell.”

            “Was that a groan of sympathy, sir?”         

            “Sympathy? Sympathy! All right, you’re determined to go with this. Salmonella from what?”

            “From the battery-caged poultry, sir. Many chicken dishes contain raw meat that has been insufficiently cooked, and 83% of chicken sold in the U.S. may contain very harmful bacteria. Also, the hens are so tightly crammed inside that they can barely move, they cannibalize each other, and they are the most abused animals in agribusiness.”

            “Hey, what kind of place is this, anyway? I thought it was a restaurant. I thought I could get a decent meal here.”

            “I’m sure you did, sir. I just wanted to enlighten you about all that’s happened to the animal you’re planning to eat: pain, suffering, barbarism, terror, bloody slaughter. And the cost to you might be death.”

            “Holy Hannah. See here, I’m not saying you’ve convinced me. But—just supposing you had, and just supposing I needed to salve my social conscience—besides avoiding cancer, bacteria, and the like—is there anything I can safely eat?”

            “Most assuredly, sir. Pasta dishes—made without eggs. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables—all nicely cleaned, naturally.”

            “Hmmmph. Let me ask this: does your boss know that you’re scaring customers out of the place? Does he know what kind of waitress you are?”

            “Waitress? I’m no waitress, sir. I’m an undercover agent for the Animal Rights Enlightenment Organization. Ah, it’s time to move on now to another potential offender. You have a nice day, sir.”

            “Yeah, right. Thanks a lot. Guess I’ll go home and cook up a batch of organic brown rice.”

            “Terrific idea, sir. Make sure you wash it first in filtered tap water.”








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