hold the frickin chicken

Today I went to the food truck I often go to (I've chased it all about Oakland, actually) and ordered the dish I often order (small, half pineapple tofu-half tofu basil leaves). And I got a Thai iced tea, and engaged in pleasant small talk with the men working there and went on my merry way to the wall, where I plopped down and popped that styrofoam lid that won't biodegrade until well after the day when the trumpets sound and we all rise from our graves, and there I saw a whole bunch of chicken.

At first maybe I thought it was some fancy new tofu shaped like chunks of chicken, so I bit a tiny bit, and it was really chicken. It wasn't like the guy understood me wrong and gave me half pineappled tofu and half chicken with basil leaves; there was some of each tofu dish. It was like somewhere in the middle of our discussion of yesterday's weather, he just dipped right down into the wrong dish and scooped out a lot of bird flesh. I began to feel like perhaps the small talk was even a ruse to distract me from what his hands were doing, like as if I was having my pockets picked.

Now, I'm not squeamish about meat. It's only relatively recently that I don't really eat it at all -- I had for a long time had a vegetarian diet but an open-door policy to meat that was, say, going to be thrown out if I didn't eat it. But I haven't eaten meat in quite a while now, and even when I was an unabashed carny, chicken from the food trucks was not on the list of Good Things to Eat. I was already several blocks from the truck so I didn't feel like walking all the way back just to feel the pressure involved in complaining about my food. So I ended up picking it out and, lacking any flesh-eating friends at the wall at 12:45, ended up tossing it, which was a bummer. I was hoping for someone meat-hungry to walk by, but to no avail.

I'm pretty sure it was just an honest mistake, and I'm sure I'll go back to that truck, probably soon. What I'm not sure of is how I'll order. Perhaps something along the lines of, "Hi, can I have a small, half pineapple tofu, half tofu basil leaves, um, and can you hold the chicken on that, please?"