Jones County native Jeffrey Tambor developed a love for vegetables while working at a restaurant.
“I worked as a busboy at a steakhouse on Saturday nights when I was a teenager,” Tambor told The Free Press. “They started me off folding napkins, carrying out the garbage and sweeping up. Eventually I worked my way up to the big time — food prep.”
Tambor would arrive at the restaurant around 4 p.m. and start his shift by cutting carrots, cucumbers and lettuce for the salad bar.
“At first I didn’t pay much attention to what I was doing,” Tambor said. “After cutting up all the stuff for the salad bar, if I still had 10 fingers at the end of the night then it was a good day.”
In time, though, Tambor says he started to notice the beauty of the vegetables he was slicing to pieces.
“Have you ever really looked at a sliced cucumber?” Tambor said with tears in his eyes. “They are an exquisite creation of nature, and I’m sad to say that during my tenure as a table maintenance specialist at the Amorous Cowboy Steakhouse I desecrated thousands of them.”
Tambor says his awakening happened after snacking on what he thought was a portobello mushroom.
“Another busboy at the restaurant named Trey walked into the kitchen and dumped a bag of mushrooms on the prep table while I was slicing tomatoes,” Tambor said. “I assumed they were for the salad bar, so I sliced them up and ate a few just to see what they tasted like.”
As it turns out, the mushrooms weren’t meant for the salad bar.
“I bought them from a guy in the parking lot of a Phish concert up at Hampton,” said Trey, currently still employed as a busboy at the Amorous Cowboy Steakhouse. “Jeffrey just didn’t get Phish and I was trying to help him.”
The night Tambor ate the mushrooms he says he could hear their screams in his sleep.
“I relived every slice of every vegetable in a vivid eight-hour nightmare that night,” Tambor said. “The carrots were definitely the toughest vegetables, just letting out a very manly ‘oww’ with every cut. Conversely, the cucumbers screamed like a tea kettle. The following morning I swore to never harm any plant ever again.”
Tambor, now 60, says he doesn’t regret eating only meat for the past 42 years.
“Becoming a carnivortarian was just the first step in my crusade to save the plants,” Tambor said. “I haven’t mowed my lawn in over 30 years, as I view lawn mowers as weapons of mass destruction. I write to my congressman every week requesting he draw up legislation to make salad bars illegal. And these squirrels living in trees and eating acorns are nothing more than terrorists. I buy cheeseburgers for the squirrels in my neighborhood just so they’ll leave those beautiful oaks alone.”
When asked why he favors plants over animals, Tambor became incensed.
“Have you ever met a cat?” Tambor said.
Tambor isn’t alone in his crusade. Dr. Christopher Grogan (cjgrogan.com), Emeritus Research Botanist of the University Herbarium at Rutgers University, says plants are totally cooler than animals.
“In the spring I’ll be hosting a series of conferences that will focus on setting free all potted plants,” Grogan said. “By the year 2525, we hope to have relocated all potted plants into several large areas covered in free-range hibiscus, anthuriums and geraniums. These ‘florests’, if you will, will create a safe haven for thousands of plants and stinky hippies who accidentally hear the band Phish while sober.”
“Grogan and I see eye to eye on almost everything except the band Phish,” Tambor said. “Their version of ‘Quadrophenia’ from the 1995 Halloween concert was, in my estimation, diggity dank.”
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