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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

My Kingdom for a Tasty Sub

People, I don’t ask for much.

(I know, I know — you don’t, either. Just a post or two out of me every couple of days. And I’ve been a naughty little blogger lately, which is why I’m backdating this post to last night, to hide my shameful, neglecty ways.

Plus, I was thinking about this post yesterday, and that counts — according to me, anyway. So you’ll get another post later tonight, too. And you can’t ask for more than that, folks.

Less, perhaps. But not more.)

Anyway, back to the damned premise: I don’t ask for much.

(And when you hear that, don’t you always just know there’s a rant coming? When someone says they ‘don’t ask for much’, what they’re basically saying is they’re not getting anything. I always figured that if they’d just ask for nothing, then everything would be peachy.

But apparently, I don’t follow my own advice. I don’t ask for much, but I do want a little, it seems. Some people are never fucking happy, eh?)

All right — third time’s a charm: I don’t ask for much, people.

(What? You thought there’d be parentheses here? Nope — I’m done stalling, finally. Fooled you, didn’t I?)

See, one of the advantages of an obsessive personality — okay, so, the only advantage, as far as I know — is the predictable, reliable consistency. Now, I’m only borderline psychotic — hey, shove a sock in it, peanut gallery — so I don’t spend my life making the bed exactly the same way each morning, or arranging my bookshelves according to the Dewey Decimal system, or getting to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop with the same number of licks every time.

(And if you’re thinking that ‘licks’ and ‘getting to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop’ might be euphemisms for some sort of solo-sexual shenanigans… well, sure. They might. Or might not. Only my nosy neighbor knows for sure.)

I do have a few areas in which obsessive consistency rears its ugly head, though, and one of them is lunch. I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed my adventures in ordering sandwiches before… but hey — I’ve got to post about something, right? Plus, you’ve already forgotten all the old sandwich shit, and this new thing just happened yesterday. Cut me some slack, dammit.

So, here’s the thing. I go to a few different places around the office for lunch, but I’d be perfectly happy eating the same thing every day. A sandwich — more specifically, a sub sandwich. Or hoagie, or grinder, or whatever you call it in your neck of the proverbial woods.

(Why are we only allowed to live in the ‘necks’ of woods, by the way? What about the head of the woods, or the body of the woods? There seems to be a whole torso of the woods — not to mention various woods limbs — that are being underutilized. It’s a big fat waste of perfectly good woods parts, if you ask me.

Unless we’re all staying in the neck, so as to be far away from the ass of the woods. I don’t know much about forestry, but I’m pretty sure that no one wants to live in the ass of the woods. That’s probably where the bears go to hibernate, too. Ick.)

Anyway, I don’t get my sandwich every day — mostly because the one fricking place in the city that seems to know how to make it is a couple of miles away from my office. I pass it on the way to work, so sometimes I’ll stop in. But most days, I fend for food closer to the workplace. And there are sandwich shops nearby — but none that are as boringly, maddeningly consistent as I want them to be. And that pisses me off. Why can’t we all be borderline psychotic? We might not all ‘get along’, and we sure as hell wouldn’t be happier, but at least we’d all be consistent. And isn’t that worth a few debilitating social maladjustments?

Okay, probably not. Hey, that’s fine for you — nobody gave me the choice. Bitches!

So, back to the sandwich. Or, as I like to call it, ‘The Sandwich’.

(Yeah, it’s the same words, but they’re capitalized, see? It’s a little harder to tell when I’m just saying it out loud, but I raise my eyebrows a little, to let people know. ‘The Sandwich!‘ ‘Theeeee Sandwich.‘ Heh? Get it? ‘Saaaaandwich

Yeah, sorry. I know — I’m frightening the children again. Moving on, then.)

Anyway, here’s what I really want, and, again, would be more than happy to eat every single day for lunch:

A large chicken cutlet sub, on toasted bread, with cheese, lettuce, onion, mayo, and jalapeno peppers

Doesn’t sound so hard, right? Any sub shop should be able to whip one of those up — except maybe for the peppers, which only a pizza/sub place is likely to have. And that’s fine — I’ll give a little on the peppers. And the toasted bread. And even the cheese. These are small details in the grand scheme of The Sandwich — get the rest right, and I’m a jolly little customer.

But no. At every step of The Sandwich, I am thwarted. Without constant diligence and careful instructions, I get some craptastic sandwich that is not — I repeat, notThe Sandwich. And in some cases, it’s not even an edible sandwich. I used to think that it was just this one restaurant — across the street, coincidentally, from the single, holy, magical place that can make The Sandwich the right way every time — that screwed up my order. It was there that I learned the first Lesson of the Sandwich:

If you ask for a ‘chicken cutlet sub’, with no other instructions, you will not get a chicken cutlet sub. What you will get is a ‘chicken parmesan sub’, with red sauce and cheese, and no other toppings.

Why the place — or the seventeen other places where I’ve found the same thing — doesn’t include both a chicken cutlet sub and a chicken parm sub on the menu, I can’t say. Maybe there’s no room. Or maybe the jackasses can’t spell ‘parmesan’, or even ‘parm’. I don’t know. What I do know is that the menu says, ‘chicken cutlet sub’. But to get a chicken cutlet sub, you have to order: ‘Chicken cutlet sub, no sauce‘.

(This is where yesterday’s adventure comes in, by the way. I said exactly what I just wrote above to the lady behind the counter — just the same way I said it to her last week, and the week before that, and the week before that. Sometimes, she screws up the toppings, but step one had never been a problem.

So, she made the sandwich — but not The Sandwich — and bagged it up, and said my ‘chicken parm’ was ready. I asked if that was the chicken cutlet, and she replied:

Yes, yes — chicken parm, with sausage.

Bitches, bitches, bitches. Besides the fact that we’ve never had this issue before… who in the hell would think of freaking sausage on a chicken sandwich? Even if that’s what she thought she heard, wouldn’t you think she’d have gone, ‘Really? Are you positive?‘ Dammit.

Anyway, I took the sandwich, because I was too hungry to wait for another, and too weak to fight with her over the damned thing. And it wasn’t delicious. Or even tasty. At least she toasted the bread. Bitch got one thing right without asking.)

It wasn’t long after the ‘no sauce’ discovery that I learned the second Lesson of the Sandwich:

If you ask for ‘mayo’ instead of ‘mayonnaise’, you will often get tomatoes, instead.

Friends, it was a dark and lonely day in Charlieville when I once bit into what I thought was The Sandwich, and found it to be littered — nay, infested — with tomato slices. Now, I’ll eat almost anything that’s not actually making noises or crawling under its own power. But there’s something about raw tomatoes that just… blech. I don’t even want to think about it. *shudder* Cooked tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup — all fine. Just not raw, and never on The Sandwich. I still remember that day, and now I watch the topping putter-oner, to make sure no tomatoes make their way into the sandwichy goodness. That was a difficult time; I may have wept. It’s all a blur, really, so it’s hard to be sure.

I suppose the ‘sauce-sausage’ thing could be the third Lesson of the Sandwich… but really, that’s just so assheadedly bizarre that I can’t imagine it happening again. And I’d feel like kind of an idiot telling people:

Chicken cutlet, please. No sauce. And no sausage!

Somehow, I think I’d come off as weirdly paranoid. As opposed to weirdly obsessive, which is okay. Or at least unavoidable. Either way, I think my work here is done. Besides the fact that I couldn’t possibly blather on any longer about a damned sandwich, now I’m hungry for one. And it’s lunchtime, so I’m off. Long live The Sandwich!

Permalink  |  5 Comments



5 Responses to “My Kingdom for a Tasty Sub”

  1. QC says:

    Dude. You have some serious issues with parentheses.

  2. QC says:

    Oh, yeah. And sandwiches, too.

  3. chrissy says:

    Your website has become my newest guilty pleasure. I had an italian sub made with turkey issue a few years back. I feel your sandwich pain.

  4. Jen says:

    This is a total shame. It just goes to show you that some people were too busy diddling themselves to get in line when God was handing out brain cells.

    I worked in a deli/sub shop while schleping my way through a chemistry degree in college, and I gotta tell you… It’s not a difficult job. A moderately intelligent 10 year old could do it.

    So I’m sorry that you need to spend your lunch hour dealing with morons.

  5. Omar de Fati says:

    I love how swell you use parentheses. I use them to tell which posts to read first. The one with the most side stories.

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