Editors' Note: Since its inception in 1999 Vegetarians in Paradise has had a policy of not publishing fiction. In this issue we back away from that rule by printing the following story. We couldn't resist.
A Delicious Fable
This roly-poly chef would prepare dishes that would send her fans into shrieks of ecstasy. Her down-home style of food preparation featured recipes oozing with butter, sugar, eggs, cheese, oil, lard, and all the other sweet, rich, oily ingredients she felt would enhance her decadent creations.
Not only had she became a television celebrity, but she also launched other enterprises like cookbooks, magazines, a radio program, and licensed products. With national fame she accumulated great wealth.
But then tragedy struck this fairy-tale diva chef. The media uncovered a revelation that she had a serious disease. People gasped when they learned that their favorite cook had been hiding something from them. Could it be true? In shock they learned that three years earlier she had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
What was the porcine TV darling to do when she was diagnosed? No problem! She decided only she and her doctor would know the real story. But secrets are hard to keep. For three years her fans did not know that the bulbous chef had concealed her diabetes. When she finally confessed, there was a roaring firestorm.
Could it be the foods she was cooking and eating had led her down the diabetes path? There were those who rose to the defense of the zaftig celebrity chef. They revered her so much they claimed it was not her fault. They spouted that diabetes is a genetic disease that she inherited. It did not matter what she ate and how massive her body mass index was.
But all is not lost for the pudgy chef. Faster than people could snap their fingers, she had landed upright into a marketing bonanza. Who could better hawk a new diabetes drug!!!! To paraphrase an old saying, "This old lemon is marketing the lemonade cure."
Has she changed her lifestyle? Not much. Fewer sugary drinks and a bit more exercise are now part of her daily regimen. She would no longer be able to tell kids it's okay to have cheesecake for breakfast and meatloaf, French fries, and chocolate cake for lunch.
Now she is spokesperson for a drug that must be injected daily to control blood sugar of people with Type 2 diabetes. But like many drugs, this one has some challenging side effects that range from thyroid tumors and thyroid cancer to vomiting or ongoing pain that begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach but may spread to the back.
Lesser effects include headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, loss of appetite, runny nose, sneezing, cough, tiredness, difficulty urinating or pain or burning on urination and rash or redness in the place where the medication was injected.
The buxom chef can now advise her fans to practice moderation--just make the same recipes but serve smaller portions as she and they continue to poke themselves with that daily needle. Her fans will have their needles but not the mounds of cash the corpulent chef will stash in her lavish bank account.
Moral of This Fable:
You are what you cook--and eat.