Send help, my housemates have started an absurd diet

Send help, my housemates have started an absurd diet

August 19, 2023

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Dear Mum and Dad, it’s your dog Clancy here, writing from my home in the city.

Here’s the latest news. My housemates, Man and Lady, are on some sort of savage and irrational diet. Fair enough, each to their own. Except the diet includes the insane injunction, “There shall be no toast”.

I can see you shaking your heads in disbelief. This household once contained endless toast.

Both man and dog know: kumara is OK, but it’s not toast.Credit: iStock

There were battalions of toast soldiers, marching from plate to mouth – actually, my mouth – begging to be eaten. There were also torn triangles of Vegemite toast, which I woofed down in the hope of maintaining my B1 vitamins, “essential for brain function”, and B2, which “supports your nervous system”. (I’ve pasted this from the Vegemite corporate website, but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate.)

Sometimes there was even toast served with sliced cheese – a combination of ingredients that, as I chewed, led me to debate that eternal question: If you were on a desert island and could choose to have a) only cheese or b) only toast, which would you pick? It’s a question, of course, that can never be answered, because toast and cheese are the equal best ingredients known to dogkind.

Yet, suddenly, into this nirvana, comes the ban. No toast. No toast at all. Nary a crumb.

Even the beloved young grandson, Pip, is denied toast. “We can’t have bread in the house,” says Man, “otherwise I’ll eat it. We’ll cook up some kumara for him instead. Apparently, that’s very low GI.”

Pip is a growing child, you idiot! He doesn’t need low GI! Oh my God, suddenly I realise: they’ve joined a cult. Pip and I are victims of a cult. Please send help!

I’m a big fan of Pip, by the way. Apart from his excellent qualities as a young human – stroking my ears, kissing my muzzle, letting me chase him down the hallway – he is, in normal times, my chief supplier of toast. He sits in his chair – a normal chair now, no longer a highchair – and I lie on the ground below. Man and Lady – pre-cult – would give him an excess of toast soldiers, many of them attractively anointed with Vegemite.

Then, if Man and Lady were distracted for a moment, the sky would open. It would rain toast. Pip would throw toast soldiers to the floor like a king dispensing shillings to the crowd.

I was that crowd. He was my King. My gratitude knew no bounds.

Fast-forward to now. These days, in era of the cult, Pip instead sits there glumly chewing his baked kumara. Occasionally, he flashes me a loving glance. He is worried I may be hungry. The glance means, “Want some?” I answer with another look: “Mate, don’t bother.”

He nods. Kumara is OK, but it’s not toast. Certainly, it’s not toast with Vegemite.

How distant we are from the glory days, those halcyon days just two weeks ago, those days before Man and Lady’s cult, when I declared myself Minister for Toast? The Minister for Toast would present himself whenever toast was being eaten. It was his job! The sound of the bread bin being opened. The click of the toaster being used. A bread knife being brought out of the drawer. Any of those things would bring the Minister for Toast running to his post.

I might be sleeping on the bed in the front room. Or I might be digging up the lawn in the backyard in the search of iron ore. I might be circling a section of floorboards, trying to find the perfect place in which to have a delightful snooze.

None of these tasks were sacrosanct, that’s my point. Not when you are Minister for Toast. Duty calls. It’s Gallipoli. It’s Dunkirk. It’s a photo op with Sam Kerr. I am summoned as if by a siren. I charge towards the kitchen. I stand by the toaster, panting. I flash a look as waif-like and appealing as I can muster.

But no longer. The bread bin is silent. The toaster is never used. The Vegemite jar is back in the cupboard, unopened save for the occasional indignity involving a frying pan and prawns.

Suddenly, this whole life, this life built up over years – the responsibilities, the privileges, the occasional rewards for good service – all this is swept away. Man says, “We can’t have bread in the household”, and a civilisation is destroyed.

I didn’t sign up for this diet. Poor Pip (who is the more significant victim here) has also never expressed his enthusiasm. Did I hear Pip saying, “Oh, I hear Michael Mosley has a new diet app, and you can sign up, and they give you meal plans, none of which involve toast, and I really think you should give it a go.”

No, he did not.

I hear there are cult-busters, who you can pay to stage what is called an “intervention”. I wonder if Pip would consider going halves? Could you send me some cash?

As always, hope you are well.

Love, Clancy.

PS: Please send toast.

To read more from Spectrum, visit our page here.

The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in Culture

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article