Saturday night is synonymous with game night at my house — unless the hay is ready to bale, or needs loading, or the animals find a hole in the fence. But if the stars have aligned and we find ourselves without work to do on a Saturday night, you can be sure we’ll be playing games that extend all the way from strategy to stupidly funny.

Last Saturday we chose stupidly funny. It was one of my favorite group games — a cross between Pictionary and the old children’s “gossip” game. Where one person whispers a word to the next person, who in turn whispers what they thought they heard to the following person and so on and so forth. This game takes that idea and puts it into sketches as it goes around the circle. It’s always a riot — and this night was no different.

The word was cannibal. I wrote it down on the first page, and passed it on to the next person who had 30 seconds to draw it. It wasn’t until it had been passed all around the circle that I realized just how much our alternative-meat society was affecting our psyches.

The first picture showed a giant, gourd-like pot with flames around it and a couple of scribbles inside (afterward we were told those scribbles were actually people — but it was leaning heavy on the interpretive art side of things). The guess on the following page said “rotisserie.” For which the next person drew a cauldron under a spit roasting something seriously scrawny — only a few thin lines poking out the side of the skewer. It was scrawny enough to make a starving gopher look hearty. The next guess was “vegetarian barbecue.” To which laughter erupted and conversation took a quick turn carnivorous.

I am vegetarian — but don’t hold that against me. I saw a bumper sticker once that read “I am not a vegetarian because I love animals—I simply hate plants.” Actually, I have been a vegetarian most of my life, one of the few in my family — although I do have a sister who calls herself “flexitarian” because she can “go either way.” Having been vegetarian long before it was “cool,” I always thought it harmless enough — but in today’s world of fad and social media, it seems almost to become a source of righteousness. Never before have I felt a sense of embarrassment about belonging to the few that abstain from meat. Now, however, if diet comes up in a group of vegans, I tend to walk on eggshells — which I’ve found really upsets them. They don’t seem to enjoy cracking yolks.

Vegetarian or otherwise, my family loves sarcasm and puns, and this cannibal-turned-vegetarian barbecue was a great source of delight as we all took turns cooking up our own dry food jokes — we may have over-seasoned slightly.

“What happens when a cannibal gets religion? He only eats Catholics on Sunday.”

“What happens when a cannibal eats a Pentecostal? He can’t keep them down — hallelujah!”

A missionary was walking in Africa when he heard the ominous sound of a blade sharpening behind him. “Oh Lord,” prayed the missionary, “Grant in thy goodness that the man walking behind me is a good Christian man.” And then, in the silence that followed, the missionary heard the man praying too: “Oh Lord,” he prayed, “we thank thee for the food which we are about to receive.”

In the midst of all the heated discussions on milkless milk, plant-based alternatives and meatless meats, sometimes we just need to step back and ask the important questions, like: How many vegans does it take to change a light bulb? Two, one to change it and one to check for animal ingredients.

A husband and wife were sitting around talking about their hard day at work, and the wife was complaining that she needed to be more assertive to get anywhere, when her husband told her, “You know what the problem is, don’t you? It’s a dog-ea-dog world out there, and you’re a vegan!”

But through all the crazy, I did find one redeeming quality of being vegan — you’ll never have to worry about cheesy jokes during game night.

Brianna Walker occasionally writes Farmer’s Fate for the Blue Mountain Eagle.

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