By Jack Edwards
There’s small “c” crazy and then there’s American Psychiatric Association Crazy. In fact, the APA publishes a book called the DSM listing all the official types of crazy, and they assign each one a number. Everything’s listed: Sociopathic, Paranoia, Crazy as a Bedbug – you name it. They’re up to the DSM-V now because they keep changing their minds about what is and isn’t crazy. One minute, for example (just for example – not a real life example) they say that someone who enjoys sprinkling belly button lint on their scrambled eggs is crazy. Then after the APA comes back from their three martini lunch to discuss it further, they decide it’s not crazy – it’s just disgusting.
The reason I mention this is that I’ve been perusing the DSM to find my number. I’m pretty sure I have one. Of course, it’s always possible, however unlikely, that I’m not officially crazy.
Let me explain. Last year I became a vegan for two months. I chronicled my journey in a Jocularious column titled “My Life as a Vegan” –http://jocularious.com/?p=71. Well, I have, as of late, been considering a return to veganism, but not for any traditional reason (if you can use the word “traditional” in describing veganism). Forget reasons like health, sustainability and animal rights. The reason I am considering returning to veganism is that it bothers everyone but other vegans. It drives some people so bonkers that the APA has probably assigned them a number. I can’t describe the pleasure I get out of being the bug in the ointment. A few salacious examples-
#1 Event planner for a board of directors dinner: “Jack, aren’t you a vegan?”
Me: “Yeah, but don’t worry about me. I’ll make do.”
Event planner: “No. No problem at all. I’ll see what I can do.”
Me: “Please, don’t bother yourself.” (Pleasure endorphins releasing in my brain by the millions).
#2 Uncle Herb at Aunt Alice’s holiday gathering: “A vegan? What in the hell is wrong with you boy? Next thing you’ll be chaining yourself to the slaughter shoot at the pork processing factory. Dog-nab-it, that’s what’s wrong with this country!”
#3 Me, sitting down at a restaurant with friends for lunch, inquiring of the waitress: “Does your veggie burger contain any animal products?”
Waitress, masking mild irritation but maintaining a forced smile to salvage a tip: “The burger is made of 100% vegetables.”
Me: “What about the bun?”
Waitress: “Hum, I would have to check. I know the veggie burger is vegetarian.”
Me: “I’m a vegan. I don’t eat any animal products whatsoever. Thanks for checking on the bun.”
So, as you can see, there is immense pleasure in lording one’s vegan status over others. The question is whether the APA has assigned a DSM number to it yet. Perhaps I should send them an email inquiring. Better yet, I’ll send it to them after they’ve had lunch.
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