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A Tale of "Raw Heaven"

(wherein two Beyond Veg site
contributors receive a well-deserved lampooning)

by Kirt Nieft
Copyright © 1997 by Kirt Nieft. All rights reserved.
Contact author for permission to republish.

Well, yeah, maybe ya hadta've "been there" to truly appreciate this lampoon which was once posted to the Raw-Food listgroup skewering a few of its regular participants. But--as two of 'em are contributors to this site--'twould only be fair that we try and set it up for ya here to let you in on the joke. And if you're a true fan of alternative dietland--well, we think you'll understand. :-)

CAST OF CHARACTERS ripe for the lampooning:

     Peter, the Raw-Food list's host and moderator, reigning over the group.

     Kirt (Beyond Veg's own ex-"Anopsologist"), the Raw-Food listgroup's primary instincto practitioner and advocate who has been holding forth daily, and who just can't bring himself to credit the ideas implicit in...

     ...Ombodhi's new-age Buddhist food poetry being posted to the list. (Everybody has a soft spot in their heart for Ombodhi, though, who has been waxing sad and eloquent about the beauties of his former lovers.)

     Then there's the Wardman (yep, Beyond Veg's own), who has taken to footnoting his sometimes interminable email screeds with scientific refs to refute the list's resident fruitarians' claims that paleodiet science is "cooked" because paleontologists 10,000 years hence would be likely to look back at 20th-century tooth microwear and mistakenly conclude Homo sapiens is best adapted to a diet of cheeseburgers.

     And you'll also need to know this bit about instincto philosophy: foods eaten one at a time are held to unfailingly generate what is known as "the taste stop" (when the food begins to become unappetizing), which the practitioner should obey by eating no more of that food at the meal.

Herewith, then, A Tale of "Raw Heaven," as was told by none other than Kirt himself.

There once was a fellow (okay, let's call him Kirt) who grew up on Hostess products (Ho-Ho's, Suzy-Q's, fruit pies, etc.) and eventually gave Fit For Life a go. Later he became instincto. Through a complex set of circumstances, he contracted malaria while in Antarctica sampling krill and penguin fat, and died.

Imagine his surprise (being a complete spiritual flunky) when he ended up in a long line at St. Peter's (yes, that Peter's) gate. Slowly the line inched forward and finally he was face to face with the gatekeeper himself. St. Peter looked over the documents in Kirt's file, did an AltaVista search on both his first and last name, and finally said, "Hmmm... pretty interesting life, but I'm afraid there's no way around it--that was entirely too much junk food as a youngster--and it'll be off to hell with you. There is some good news, though: You have your choice of raw vegan hell or instincto hell."

Kirt was about to say instincto hell, when he heard whispering from behind him, "Psst... psst... take the vegan hell." Turning he saw, of all people, Ombodhi. Having always suspected Ombodhi had a more direct line to the Muse than he himself ever had, Kirt took the advice to heart, turned to St. Peter and said, "I'll take the vegan hell."

Soon after, Kirt and Ombodhi were making their way down the corridor to hell. Having never really met each other before, they caught up on old times they never had and finally the discussion turned serious...

Kirt: So what did you die of, Ombodhi?

Ombodhi: AIDS, well really HIV, um... I mean TB. Yeah that's it, TB. But I tell you, she was worth it. A real Goddess!

Kirt: It was malaria for me. So much for the non-germ theory, eh? By the way, why did you tell me to choose the vegan hell?

Ombodhi: I'm not really sure. I was getting into some heavy aromatherapy sessions as I got sicker and sicker, and started having visions. I'm not sure, but I definitely got the sense that vegan hell would be better for you. Maybe me too. Again, I'm not sure.

Kirt: Well, we'll soon see, eh? ...My goodness, who is that?!

There in the hallway was a small man wearing animal skins crouched over a computer terminal. His right hand was flying over the keyboard typing at a furious pace and his left hand clutched a half-eaten cheeseburger. His eyes looked like this * * and he was surrounded by a bunch of wooden clubs and stone tools, not to mention cheeseburger wrappings from a variety of fast-food giants.

Ombodhi: I think it's the Wardman. He died from overwork.

Kirt: Wow. Hi Ward!

The man hunkered over the terminal didn't lose a stroke in his typing, kept his * * eyes staring straight forward, and only tilted the cheeseburger at the two fellows, saying, "No time, guys! I gotta finish my post on micro-fossil tooth wear in the next millennium."

So Kirt and Ombodhi continued on and finally approached the side-by-side doors labeled "vegan hell" and "instincto hell." Upon entering vegan hell they saw many dozens of people feasting at a table laden with the highest-quality newt's eyeballs, mastadon bone marrow, whale blubber, venison liver, lobster guts, and so on. Everyone was there from Uncle Herbie and T.C. Fry to Pythagoreas and Sinead. Each person had a nasty brute behind them with a blowtorch and a whip, torturing them to continue eating. And each of the vegans had tears streaming down their eyes as they did so.

Kirt: Why are they crying, Ombodhi?

Ombodhi: Because they simply can't believe it tastes so good to eat a once-living thing!

Kirt: Wow. I wonder what the instincto hell is like?

Ombodhi: Let's take a look.

They left the room and approached the door marked "instincto hell." There were less than a half-dozen instinctos, each also being tortured by a brute to continue eating, and also with tears streaming down their faces. The only difference was that each plate was heaped with a huge pile of alfalfa sprouts.

Kirt: Wow. Why are they crying?

Ombodhi: Because most of 'em got the taste-stop after the second mouthful!

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