Sorry we don't have that
You have to admire vegans for their pure determination. Giving up cheese on your pizza may seem like a small sacrifice, but committing to a war of bargaining with every waiter takes guts. Waiters are not the culprits, they’re just the messengers of doom in a world where the words, ‘sorry we don’t have that,’ ring like a final decree in a divorce court.
I try not to look at waiters too closely, so that they can conduct their business with a modicum of dignity. I know there are people who fall head over heels in love with their waiters because they somehow believe the charade, and they need the boost of confidence. They need to be served, because they’ve stopped believing in themselves and this is their therapy.
At the place where you throw away your empties, at the side of the drive-through, there’s often a person hunting through the polystyrene trays to see if there’s food left from your franchise sojourn. This is the true recycler who uses his biology to convert your leftovers into waste. I once asked him what he dreads. He said he dreads nothing.
At some stage, he said, you go so low that anything you receive is a welcome surprise. I wondered whether there’s a starved art audience, somewhere, that could ever feel the same way. Or are consumers of art always picky and overly selective?
I’ve never met a starving critic. There must be one somewhere. I hope that, for that person, the dustbin is full of good things.