Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Stigma of Vegetarian Meal at KFC and Asking for Extra Ketchup

Quite a lot of my friends are non-vegetarians. So by unanimous polling, KFC is generally agreed upon as the mid-journey eating joint. Or in general whenever we feel like getting far away from the stinking mess food and we have adequate amount of coupons, KFC is the go-to place to hangout. I have no issues hanging out with friends who prefer the red packaging over the green one. But what sucks is being an out-of-place alien.

Let’s face it, us vegetarians are not supposed to frequent a restaurant named Kentucky Fried Chicken in the first place. But being with a group of friends, there aren’t really many alternatives when vegetarians are outnumbered. And there is nothing you can do about it. Instances when we vegetarians enjoy the majority come but rarely and those moments are cherished. So we are on the back foot the moment we enter that door.

It’s a sight worth something when the entire troupe places the order and there are a couple of veg burgers trying to discretely slip into the order receipt. The employees at the counter look up at us, silently confirming whether it was a mistake and if we’d like to reconsider our order. Then they scan through the group trying to figure out the odd ones. It must be a pretty neat game among themselves – guessing the number of vegetarian creeps each one of them comes across during the day. The loser gets to eat the veg meal.

Sometimes I could picture the employees handling the vegetarian meals the same way a stranger’s underwear is handled – with one hand covering the face, on the verge of throwing up. But that’s just my imagination. May be.

Anyway, once we get our order, the vegetarian meals stand out. The green packaging shining like a diamond in a mine of redness. It’s especially freaking in a crowded KFC when those forced to gobble their chicken wings and leg pieces and breasts and other body parts while uncomfortably standing up and one of them accidently looks at out green packaging while we cozy up at out tables. At least one of them must, MUST be cursing us,”BC ghaas khani hai to McD mein jaake mar na.” However, KFC has been gracious enough to accommodate vegetarian meals. There must be a sizeable populations of us that may have been too valuable to ignore.

Another practice that is looked down upon by employees regardless of your choice of packaging but especially if you happen to prefer the green one is asking for an extra pouch of ketchup. We should be gratified at being bestowed upon us that extra ketchup we asked for by the generous hosts, but instead we pile up our demands – certain flavor of ketchup, an extra straw, an extra napkin. And like crows, they hold a grudge against you if you dared to ask for one more sachet of that delicious ketchup.

It’s still kind of ironical – vegetarian meals at a restaurant named after a poultry bird. But as I mentioned before, on behalf of all vegetarians out there, I am grateful for KFC’s generosity to grant us some worthwhile options. I would normally prefer KFC burgers over the McD ones without having been paid a penny by KFC.

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