Somebody once said of me "Bruce doesn't suffer fools gladly, or at all if he can help it".
My vegan brother's in town from the UK at the moment. We wanted to meet for lunch. I suggested Newmarket where I work at noon. This was too early for him and too hard to get to. He wanted to go to Burger Fuel (I never knew they did vegan food) at 1. The nearest Burger Fuel's in Parnell so we compromised, Parnell 12:30.
12 sharp my phone rings. It's the brother. He's in Newmarket and doesn't know how to get to Parnell. I ask him where is. He can't give a clear explanation or street names and eventually advances he's outside a pub called The Lumsden.
"OK, wait there I'm 2 minutes walk away".
On one hand, he's lived overseas for 20 years, but he grew up in this town. We used to go swimming at the Newmarket pool. Which reminds me, he's training for a triathlon. He wanted to swim some laps. Standing outside the Newmarket pool he asks how to get to the tepid baths. I showed him the pool through the window.
Seven days of not smoking and Champix or not, my tolerance levels are down, after turning up where I suggested at the time I suggested both of which were impossible, I had little left.
We got down to Parnell and he had his vegan burger, while I had a Bastard burger with added Stilton (Blue cheese) sauce. What can I say? I would happily have gone to a vegetarian restaurant, but I'm not going into a burger place this week and not having my favourite from their menu.
I know that vegans won't eat honey; I took great delight teasing him that logically they also shouldn't eat fruits and vegetables pollinated by domesticated bees.
P.S. I know my brother isn't a fool. He did his doctorate in artificial intelligence; based on today it could have been a useful prosthetic for him.
An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Friday 12 September 2014.