In this tough economic time, it's good to have some money-saving ideas.  I know all about that stuff.  After all, I'm a stand-up comic, and although things are better for me now, that wasn't always the case.  Just ask my bank, who used to receive my car payment checks with a memo line that read "Car note / Rent".  I never actually lived in my car, but life on the road sure taught me a lesson in how to save cash while maintaining a decent lifestyle.  

Some of those cheap habits I still practice today.  For example, right now I'm awaiting a free dessert at a diner because the waitress thinks it's my birthday.  Works every time.  You should try it.  If they ask you to prove it with I.D., just say you lost it while fighting in Iraq . . . in which case you get whipped cream too!  Suck on that freedom, Kim Jong Il! 

Anyway, one of the most important frugal practices I picked up on the road was cooking for myself rather than eating out.  This took some getting used to, especially since undercooked meat frightens me to no end.  To me, cooking a pork chop without overcooking it is like picking the right wire to cut on a bomb.  That's right . . . explosions and trichinosis rank together in my book.   Actually, the thought of an exploding raw pork chop gives me nightmares.

Nowadays, I enjoy cooking not just for me but for my friends as well.  Unfortunately, I put myself in a bind every now and then.  For example, I recently invited my friends Katie and Jerry to come over next week, but I totally forgot that Jerry is a hard core vegan.  In case you don't know, a vegan is someone who only eats things that don't have parents.  In this case, "parents" is synonymous with "flavor". 

I don't want to disappoint them, so I called Katie and Jerry to get some menu advice.  While I was at it, I took the opportunity to debunk and/or prove some popular myths about vegans.  Here they are…

Myth: Vegans have ranks based on commitment and years of service, like in the Army.

True.  But they hate it when you burn tiny plastic Vegan men with a magnifying glass.

Myth:  Vegans can steal your soul.

No, that's silly.  That trance-like look you see on their faces isn't soul stealing.  That's good ol' anemia!

Myth:  There are no famous Vegans.

False!  How about these…George Washington.  Abraham Lincoln.  Thomas Jefferson.  Teddy Roosevelt.  Not the real ones but the ones on Mount Rushmore that only eat rain water and bat shit.    

Myth:  The government is involved in a vast Vegan cover up ever since one crashed at Area 51 in Roswell. 

Very possible.  Unfortunately, I was unable to debunk or prove this one.  This could be very true.  I even saw some grainy home video footage that seemed pretty convincing.  Besides…you ever talk vegans with a high-ranking government official?  They laugh nervously, distract you somehow, and then steal your camera.  Well that's how I imagine it would go down anyway.

Myth:  Vegans won't even eat stuff that looks like meat but isn't meat.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  For example…hamburgers made out of tofu are okay to eat.  But devouring marshmallow rabbit peeps on Easter is considered cruel.  I don't understand that one, but the answer may lie in a lost gnostic gospel that only Dan Brown knows about. 

Myth:  Good Vegans can successfully fight crime. 

They can indeed, but only if by "crime" you mean the urge to grab a glass of milk when they realize that Oreos and carrot juice just isn't the same. 

I spent so much time covering these myths that we never talked about dinner plans.  So I still have no idea what to make them.  I could look up some vegan recipes online, but I'm afraid the FBI will flag my computer.  What I'll probably do is walk around the farmer's market like Angelina Jolie on a trip to Botswana.  What I mean by that is that I'll take my time, occasionally asking the produce, "Who doesn't have parents?"

Categories: Columns