The wifely friend has been pushing me tofuwards in small steps.
"Look honey," she'll say slyly at the store. "It's a steak substitute. I bet it tastes just like steak!"
And she can, of course, sense my resistance to the meatlessness of these substances she brings home. She is attuned to subtleties undetectable to the untrained ear, like when I say "You want me to eat that?" or "Will you please stop buying all this meatlessness?"
But I give in, I give in. As the meat-like sculptures invade our home, shaped into steaks and little hamburger patties, and I think even a rack of lamb once.
And I face an internal struggle. I know it doesn't taste like steak. It doesn't have the texture of steak. Hell, I eat steak once every six months, so why do I need to substitute some meatless hoax in its place? But the wifely friend has my best interests at heart. Or my heart's best interests. Or something. Maybe she's convinced my heart will actually explode from a lifetime of meat consumption, and not from an excess of tenderness as I promised in my wedding vows.
This is an actual faux-steak product I'm referring to here, by the way, though I can't remember its name. I do remember that it was made out of Seitan, which is wheat gluten and is apparently not pronounced the fun way. And in the end the wifely friend even had to agree that it was pretty awful.
But I have come to know and love the products of Morningstar Farms. And as an aside here, I don't want to suggest that meatlessness is the product of some unspeakable biblical evil, but we've got wheat gluten named Seitan, and an entire line of frozen soy products named after Lucifer Morningstar? I rest my case.
Morningstar Farms make "grillers", which are soy hamburgers, and "breakfast patties" which are, well, soy breakfast patties. And they are really, really good. I hypothesize that they are so good because they are really greasy and taste like they might possible be bad for you. They seem so bad for you, they might even have meat in them. That's just the kind of thing I'd expect from Lucifer Morningstar Farms after all.
So I eat the meatlessness a couple of times a week and I am proud to announce that I will live forever, my veins pumping pure soy and my heart nothing but a pile of wheat gluten. But I'll be alive, dammit!
And with all the frightening meat problems lately, your Mad Cow and your Bird Flu, maybe meatlessness is the only answer.
At least until the Toflu strikes.