Slack tide: Rainbow the crunchy ghost

Woooo!!!!! Wooooo!!!! Rattle, rattle rattle. Woooo!!!! Woooo!!!!!


Bet you wish you hadn’t signed up for that Intro to Necromancy course at UAS. Wooooo!!!! Bet you also wish you’d used the restroom before you started your séance. Well it’s too late! You’ve conjured me and now you must reckon with my terrible otherworldly powers!


For you see, not only am I a ghost — I’m a veeeeeeeeeeegan. Woooooo, man.

Relax, relax. Put down the golf club. You’re not going to fend off a poltergeist with a nine iron. No, I don’t want to go outside and “hit a few.” But maybe we can kick a hackey-sack around later. Wooooo!!!!

Now, I understand how you feel, but chill out. I’m not trying to scare you out of your house — hasn’t your professor covered vegan ghosts yet? Not till next semester? Anyway, you’ve more water damage than I’m usually looking for in the houses I haunt, not to mention no garage — where would I ferment my homemade kimchi? Although the rental apartment’s a plus. Wooooooo!!!!!

But that’s beside the point. As I said, I am the Ghost of Vegans Past, and I’m here to frighten you into seeing both the socio-ecological and health benefits of a meat, dairy, yeast, and, whenever possible, gluten-free lifestyle! Woooooo!!!!!

Yes that includes honey! No products derived from any sentient animal of any kind, even wool and silk! Woooo!!!! Look up “vegans” on Wikipedia; you’ll get a good definition.

So, go ahead and boot it up, then….

You know, if you had a Mac, we’d be up and running already…Yeah, sure, update Firefox…

Hey, you catch the latest Morrissey album? He did a few songs on “Colbert.” Rocked. Oh, okay, see, here we go: “vegans refrain from consuming animal products, not only meat and fish but, in contrast to ove-lacto vegetarians, also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances.” There you have it.

What do you mean you can’t live without cheese? Woooo!!! Most of Asia manages to get by just fine. Wooooo!!!! And here in the US, they make plenty of alternatives these days: soy mozzarella, almond jalapeno jack, tapioca and vegetable glycerin “cheddar” shreds. Yes, I’m sure I’m not trying to scare you out of your house.

Now, let’s see what’s in your fridge. Woooo!!! I see plenty of hot dogs — do you have any Not Dogs? What about Fakin’ Bacon? How am I supposed to make my favorite post-haunting snack: (Fakin’) Bacon (textured vegetable protein) chili (tapioca and vegetable glycerin) cheese (Not) Dogs? I’m not even going to ask if you’ve got any brown rice buns.

This refrigerator makes me want to wretch in fear, although I really can’t spare the calories. Just look what you’re putting into your body! There’s no Omega-3 fatty acids in any of this. Okay, you asked for it. Behold my display of agriculturally sustainable ghostly powers!

Wooooo!!!! I’ve transformed your milk into Rice Dream! Woooo! Your leftover spaghetti and meatballs, which you can call “pasta Bolognese,” but we all know what it really is? It’s now acorn squash with cranberry apple quinoa. Wooo!!! And I’ve turned your steak into kale. Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllle!

I know, I know, that’s not even a close approximation of steak. But it’s so much easier on the bowels.

What’s that? Oh, no, I didn’t leave your mayonnaise alone. Take a closer look at the label. See? That’s “Nayonnaise,” with an “n” and a trademark sign. What’s the difference? Taste it. Wooooooooo!!!!!

Scream all you like, but Nayo makes a fabulous vegan blue-green algae cheese dip for your buffalo Quorn Chik’N Tenders. You know, Quorn? Imitation poultry made of protein derived from fungus?

Yeah, you know, even I’m a little scared of that stuff when I think about it too much. In fact, I’m actually working on a screenplay for a horror movie based on the idea. It’s called “Children of the Quorn,” the story of a demonic entity referred to only as “He Who Walks Behind The Rows (at Rainbow Foods),” who convinces the children of the town, all named Malachi, to force feed the adults imitation meat mycoprotein.

Actually, I’d love to hear your notes. If you give me your address, I can email you a copy. Woooo!!! Dude, really? You’re still using hotmail? Wow. I died and even I managed to switch over to Gmail. No, no, I mean, you’re entitled to your own preference. Personally, I can’t stand all the spam; I am a vegan, after all.

What do you mean why I am doing this to you? Didn’t your realtor tell you? Your house was built on an ancient vegetable burial ground! Yes, I mean a garden. They moved the headstones, but they never moved the carrots!”

Come on, now, please, calm down. I’m not all bad. Behold, another amazing display of eco-friendly phantasmagoria, as I levitate these recyclables. Hm, I’m sorry, I thought I’d be able to levitate them — especially since there’s no glass in here. I should probably take more vitamins. Whew. I’m winded. Whoah, head rush. Mind if I sit down?

Yeah, sure, I’d love a glass of water. Triple filtered?

• “Slack Tide” appears every other Sunday in Neighbors. Read more of his work at


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