July 22, 2005

Blowing Off Steam

To The "Sandwich Artist" at My Local Subway Who Keeps Using Toppings Like They Come Out of Her Own Paycheck, Except Lettuce, Which She Always Dumps On a Half-Pound Of, Whether I Want It or Not:

Why are you trying to destroy me? I am a simple man. A simple, hungry man. All I want is a footlong BMT, done properly. Is that too much to ask? Since it appears to be beyond your grasp, I have concluded that you are bent on my destruction.

When done properly, a BMT is a thing of beauty. A proper BMT is a slice of Heaven itself. Those rich, slightly spicy meats cut by the creamy mild cheese, the tang of olives and banana peppers and oil-and-vinegar, the zing of onions, the cool tomatoes and lettuce... yes, a good BMT speaks of red checkered tablecloths and plastic baskets and autographed pictures of sports stars on the wall. It may not be a spin of a Vespa with an Italian supermodel (to borrow an image from one of your competitors), but it's at least a ride in a Firebird with a frisky, fun-loving Jersey girl.

But the key to the BMT is balance. A sparing hand with the meat, or the cheese, or those crucial toppings, throws the equation completely out of whack. Which is precisely what makes the BLT that now sits before me so cruelly disappointing. Meat and cheese, indeed, we do not lack for these. But what of those toppings? O, toppings, where art thou? Back in the bin at the Subway thanks to the brutal hand of Cruella DeVil, Sandwich Artist.

I tried to be generous. Perhaps you assumed that I had a hot date or a face-to-face meeting ahead of me, and this is why you withheld the onions, save a few sad slivers. Perhaps you knew, as I could not, that your tomato stock was paltry and disappointing, and this is why you provided only three thin slices. But what of the olives? What of the banana peppers? Why did you stay your hand there?

Indeed, as if openly taunting, you scooped generous handfuls of both olives and banana peppers out of the bins, only to toss a few measly morsels onto my sandwich, returning the rest whence they came. Why so ungenerous? Did you wish me to beg? Pleading seems so undignified, and shouting "J'accuse!" in the middle of a crowded restaurant seemed, well, a tad paranoid. But did I not see a hint of a smile crossing your lips as you denied me the condiments I sought? I believe I did.

My suspicions were only further enhanced by the one topping with which you weren't so stingy. If we really are experiencing some sort of Sandwich Topping Crisis and must resort to rationing, why did you so freely festoon my sandwich with lettuce? This could only be the work of a fiend sent from the bowels of Hell to torment me.

You know as well as I do that lettuce, at least of the iceberg variety, is as close to a useless food as exists on this planet. It has no taste. It has little texture, at least when shredded. It has no nutritional value. Its only redeeming value, as far as I can tell, is bulk, making a topping-shy sandwich look robust and full. But if this was your intent, you may as well have filled my sub with packing peanuts. I'd have derived approximately the same gustatory enjoyment and nutritional benefit from either, and at least when I swept the packing peanuts out of my sandwich, as I do with the lettuce, I might have found some use for them. Truly, woman, you bedevil me.

Now, under other circumstances, I might perhaps have assumed that you were under some sort of corporate screw-the-customer Subway directive. But I've sampled BMTs prepared by your fellow sandwich artists, and they all seem to have mastered the BMT arts. You stand alone in your obstinate refusal to provide a proper sandwich. And I've now received this treatment from you three times. I know it's you. I've paid attention enough to see it. And thus I am forced to conclude that you are waging some sort of vendetta against me.

So, we return to the original question. Why do you hate me so? Are you wreaking some long-sought revenge for some slight my ancestors delivered to yours in centuries past? Does the mere sight of me fling you into a furious, topping-depriving rage? Is this some stunted, perverse method of attracting my attention? Or are you simply blind to the beauty of a well-crafted BMT?

Whatever the cause, I am at my wit's end. I truly believe that one more BMt so flawed would fling my headlong into the abyss, from which I might never recover. So to you, woman, I beseech: Let me alone! Serve me a proper BMT or, if you are incapable of doing so, defer to one of your compatriots. For truly, woman, I know not what I might be capable of when so frightfully provoked. For my sake, for your sake, for the sake of the world, do as I say.

Mediocre Fred

P.S. Just because "banana peppers," "green peppers," and "hot peppers" all have the word "pepper" in them doesn't mean I want them all when I ask for one of them. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

(Has it been a bad week? Yes. Am I desperate for long rest, kind words and friendly faces? Absolutely. Have I gone mad? Quite possibly! I knew it was only a matter of time.)

Posted by Mediocre Fred at July 22, 2005 10:18 AM | TrackBack

At least you have managed to turn your dismay and sorrow into some lovely prose!

Posted by: Ginevra at July 22, 2005 01:27 PM

Well, they do say that great art comes from pain...

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at July 26, 2005 01:14 PM

Next time you're in the Fair Lakes area, you WILL go to Tony's New York Pizza and order their Special Sub. And when you eat it, you will simultaneously laugh and cry at the very notion that you ever thought a Subway BMT was something particularly good.

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