Helpful Ordering Friends


I’d venture to say that if there’s one thing that all vegetarians and vegans have in common, whether they’ve been meatless for six days or six years, is the Helpful Ordering Friend (heretofore, HOF). You know, the person who you’ll go out to lunch with and they’ll try to help you find “something you can eat” before they even consider their own food. And it’s not always a friend, sometimes it’s a family member.

What’s difficult about this social situation is that the intentions of the HOF are noble and positive: they want to make sure that you, the vegetarian with an oh-so-limited choice of food, has something to eat at the restaurant of choice. It’s a nice gesture and should be appreciated. The thing is, after the tenth time it’s happened, it gets a little annoying.

How does one politely deflect an HOF’s assistance? I usually opt for the simple, “Thanks… I’m sure I can find something.” If they persist, I’ll ask back, “So, what are you going to have? Find anything good?”

To all potential HOFs: thanks for the concern. We appreciate it. We really do. But let us worry about digging through the menu and asking questions of the waiter. We’ll take care of it. Really and truly.

Update on Oops I Pooped bags


Just before writing my previous Oops I Pooped entry, I had ordered a couple boxes of the environmentally-friendly doggie poop bags. They arrived late last week (to my house, because I can’t be receiving poop-related items at work, you know), so we’ve gotten a chance to give them a try a few times over the weekend.

The report: they’re well worth the money. As promised, their dark color hides the contents of the bag. For all anyone knows, I’m carrying a small lunch treat with me as I walk the dog. Also as promised, they help keep the smell in. When sealed tightly and tied off, there is almost no odor, even within a few inches of the bag. I was a bit scared to confirm this, but I’m glad I did.

It may be tough to justify in your mind spending money on bags when you probably get plenty from grocery shopping, but trust me: there’s a world of difference. So recycle those plastic bags and pick up some Oops I Pooped for your favorite four-legged friend. – remember the name, as I suspect it’ll be the “” of 2005. is the “corporation watch search engine,” a MediaWiki (think Wikipedia) run by a “grassroots, web-based community dedicated to chronicling and resisting corporate attacks on democracy, worker’s and human rights, fair trade, business ethics and the environment.” According to this MetaFilter thread, it is almost entirely bankrolled by Sage Francis. Good looking out!

Also of note, on the front page, our pals over at Vegan Essentials are listed, and it should be no surprise that they’re very highly rated. Now go enter the contest.

Oops I Bought Some

1 Comment

How can you not love a product called Oops I Pooped?

OIP bags are “biodegradable waste bags” for cleaning up after your dog. They completely degrade in a landfill and leave no harmful residue behind, something that can’t be said about those spare plastic bags from the grocery store you’ve been using (and by “you’ve been using” I mean “I’ve been using”). Plus, they’re black, so you won’t have to carry around a nasty see-through plastic bag after your dog’s done her thing.

The nice thing is that these bags are also quite affordable at only $8 for 88 bags. Presumably they don’t need to be double-bagged, so that’s going to come to about $4 a month. Unless your dog poops more than mine does.

I’ve ordered two boxes worth and look forward to trying them out. Hopefully they mask the odor better than regular plastic bags do because man oh man… this morning our trash can was out on the curb and when I walked within ten feet of it I caught a whiff of the nasty scents contained therein.

The Oops I Pooped site’s simple, but fun, and has a cute “infauxmerical” that’s worth checking out.