There is a steaming pound of meat on my desk and I don’t know what to do with it.

Okay, that’s not true. On my desk, there is actually a ticket stub from yesterday’s New Year’s Day matinee match-up between the Washington Capitals and the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators, whom the Caps beat by the score of 6-3. (Last Saturday, the Capitals beat the Senators in Ottawa by the score of 8-6; the lowly Caps are 3-0 against the Sens so far this season.) Should I make the trip to any nearby Austin Grill, however, I would be able to trade this now-seemingly worthless ticket stub for one free pound of chicken wings, while supplies last. (What, is Austin Grill going to run out of wings?) It’s all part of a game-day promotion; any time the Caps score six or more goals in a home game, attendees can get a free pound of wings at Austin Grill the following day with a valid ticket stub.

Had the game been just two days earlier, I would have happily devoured that pound of quivering chicken flesh the following afternoon. I would have done so without bothering to wipe the sauce from my glistening mouth until I was completely finished; perhaps, for good measure, I would have thrown the bony remains at my co-workers while letting out a bellowing belch to signify my dominant place at the top of the food chain. Unfortunately, less than a week ago I was told by my doctor that I need to get my cholesterol down—and, as a result, I made a New Year’s resolution to return to a pesco-vegetarian diet. (I’m pretty sure that, in some other language, “pesco” means “not a.”) So chicken—and, by extension, chicken wings (be they of a free nature or not)—is out.

It’s been real, meat.

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