Friday, April 1, 2011

A Month Of Hell Begins

This is going to be one of my toughest months ever and I really need some support.

First, a little background. I enjoy playing chess and am a pretty good player. I don't get to play face-to-face often enough, usually playing against the computer. My primary live player is my good friend Jeremy, who I have known for nearly ten years, but unfortunately he lives quite a distance away in Burlington, Vermont. So, we only end up playing about once every three months or so. Our last game was about a week ago, though it had been almost seven months since the last one.

Jeremy tries very hard, but he loses to me about 90% of the time.  The only time he ever wins is if he plays White, and he still ends up losing most of those games too. We usually wager on the games, minor stakes, because I feel bad about taking too much from Jeremy. Jeremy is a great sport about it and never complains or whines.

Now Jeremy and I are also significantly different in our dietary habits.  Jeremy is an avowed Vegan, and has been for almost eight years.  If you know me, you understand I have more of the proclivities of a carnivore. So Jeremy often cringes when he reads my blog, like at my recent post on eating rabbit which especially bothered him. Despite being Vegan, he is still a very good friend.

Well, at our recent chess game, Jeremy wanted to raise the stakes and offered quite an interesting wager.  If he lost, then we could go to any restaurant of my choosing and I could order for Jeremy. So, I could select a Brazilian rodizio, where skewers of meat are brought nonstop to your table, and Jeremy would have to eat all that meat.  Or I could select a restaurant that served rabbit.  But, if I lost, I would have to eat Vegan for an entire month.

Now, that wager seems a bit unbalanced, one night versus an entire month. But, you have to consider my winning ratio.  Plus, I was White in this game, and Jeremy had yet to ever win a game as Black.  My chances of winning this bet were very high, so I didn't have much worry of ending up a temporary Vegan. Thus, I accepted the wager and the game began.

For Jeremy to make this bet, I figured that he thought he had some ace up his sleeve.  I usually play Queen Pawn openings, so it seemed likely he had spent the last seven months trying to work on the best defense possible. So why not shake up things and try a King pawn opening instead? That might be able to thwart his plans.  But it ended up being a major mistake.

My King Pawn openings were rusty and I ran into trouble early in the middle game. I had to wonder if that was Jeremy's plan all along, to try to move me away from a Queen Pawn opening. Despite my troubles, I thought that at worst I could push for a draw.  But that was not to happen either. As the end game began, I knew my fate. I tipped my king in defeat, my hand slightly shaking, knowing I could not avoid checkmate. 

I am a man of my word, and always pay my wagers. I somehow lost this chess game, this bet, and now my hell has begun. One month of eating Vegan: no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no fun. Vegetables and fruits are my companions in April.  This is going to be extremely difficult for me, one of the hardest challenges I have ever faced. Dining out is going to be miserable. Even my wine consumption is going to have to be drastically modified, finding those few Vegan wines out there.  I bet I will lose plenty of weight. 

May 1 can't come soon enough.


CChamberlain said...

My goodness, Rich, good luck!

Even with all my dietary restrictions, vegan is just not something I'd ever want to venture.

Does that mean you can only have wines labeled vegan too?

Boston Food Diary said...

whoa...I have to tip my hat to you -I don't believe that is a wager I could make good on. I'll be interested to hear how it goes...

Elizabeth said...

I think it'll be awesome. So much room for creativity and experimentation. I am more than happy to give my suggestions for vegan dining in Boston

Andy said...

Too funny, Rich! Good of you to make good on your bet though. If you need any advice on vegan food or wine, give me a shout. I'm an expert in that field :)

JacquelineC said...

I smell an April Fool's joke. Did you hear the one about the vegan cheese that tastes good?

David Dadekian said...

I'm going with April Fool's joke on this one. I don't think you'd take any risk at all on that bet!

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks to everyone for their concern for me in this matter. But I must confess this is all an April Fool's prank. :)