How complicated can a sandwich be? The act of buying a sandwich has become so difficult that it almost isn’t worth the trouble.
The other day I decided to have sandwiches instead of supper. It would only take a few minutes to make a sandwich and I wouldn’t have to cook. Honey had a better idea.
“I’m going to the grocery store. Want me to pick up something?” asked Honey.
“They have a deli there, don’t they? I’d like a ham and cheese sub.”
We have two delis across the street in a mini mall. Usually we go to one of them if we want a sub. But, since he is going to the grocery store anyhow, we might as well get something from there.
There is a standing joke at my house that any time Honey goes to the store by himself, he has to call home about something. Either he can’t find it, doesn’t know what to buy, or can’t read my writing on the list – always something.
I should have known he couldn’t buy a sandwich on his own. Sure enough, the phone rang. “I don’t know what to tell her about your sandwich.”
The man has an IQ of 150. He graduated from a major university. He is a computer security analyst.
How complicated can a sandwich be?
“Can you tell her what you want?” he asked. Soon I was talking to the sandwich lady on his cell phone.
“Ham and cheese.”
“What kind of ham, brand name or ours? What kind of cheese?”
I didn’t care what kind of ham, but I picked one. American cheese was fine, yellow, not white. Other than color, what’s the difference? I could only imagine how many varities of cheese there must be. I didn’t want to get sucked into discussing them.
“What kind of bread? White, wheat, multi-grain, honey wheat, yadda, yadda, yadda.” I forgot. They have a bakery.
“Wheat.” Bread is bread. Who cares what kind of bread?
“Half or whole sandwich?” Argh! I don’t know. How large is half a sandwich?
“Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, banana peppers, the entire produce department?” The questions are becoming complicated.
“Just lettuce and onion.”
“No pickles?” I’m certain from the tone of her voice that no one had ever turned down pickles before.
God help me. It’s only a sandwich, a sandwich, people.
“What kind of condiments?” she inquired.
I can’t stand it!
Before she went into her recorded message about 25 flavors of mustard, I interrupted. “Mustard, brown mustard if you have it.” Of course, they did. It’s a grocery store. They have everything.
“Salt and pepper? Vinegar and oil, oregano?”
I thought she would ask what color of paper I wanted it wrapped in, but she didn’t. At least one thing is standard there.
Honey could guess about my preferences and come reasonably close to something eatable. I’m not really that particular and he knows, more or less, what I like. And if he messes up, I can fix it at home.
Apparently, sandwich making has become an art form. Books have probably been written. There are probably sandwich chefs, conassures, recipe books, cooking schools on how to prepare a sandwich correctly, and television shows to pick the best sandwich maker with a world-class sandwich chef to curse the students who do not know one slice of bread from another.
The humble sandwich has gone uptown on us. I didn’t know buying a sandwich would be a culinary experience.
In all the confusion, I forgot to ask her to toast it, so I had to eat a cold sandwich with too much black pepper on it. I didn’t even want pepper. I just didn’t want to turn her down again after rejecting the pickles.
I never imagined how complicated a sandwich can be.
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss