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I like food. Hell, been eatin’ since before I can remember, thanks Ma. Fried, and baked, and flaked, and baked…all food is good food. Unless it’s squash…I never eat food that is also an adjective.
I hate being invited to dinner. Hate it. There’s a built-in assumption when one goes to someone else’s house for dinner; namely that you’re forced to like it. It’s like opening a really lousy Christmas gift and putting on the ‘lousy Christmas present’ smile with hugs included. I once got a waffle iron…I don’t eat waffles. But I smiled and marveled that some engineer in some far off land was able to create all those groovy grooves with precision. This took the discussion into the realm of pancakes versus waffles (waffles eventually won), and ended up with most expressing their preferences for crepe fillings.
I love crepes and if I can get my power sander to work properly I’ll be grinding down those waffle ridge things and have a new crepe maker…
What if I hate the chow their serving? Seriously…what if they live in that world where the add sugar to their spaghetti sauce (cardinal sin number 563), believe all meat should be cooked to the consistency of beef jerky, or have a place setting for Fido (the super f’ing dog) next to the table? Am I to truly put on the fake smile and bare it? What if they use jarred gravy…am I forced to put it upon the lumpy mashed spuds?
And my favorite pastime is trying to figure out what time we’re going to eat? See, in my world when the host says 5 is dinner time I assume I’ll be dipping my fork into some cuisine and sipping a mediocre wine at 5? But I’d be wrong in so many instances…5 is the start time of the meal. As my stomach does culinary cartwheels along with a sugar plunge I am forced to watch as “Egbert the Chef Wanna-Be” peels the spuds, shells the peas, and wrings the neck of a layer that just stopped being productive. Oh hell yeah, and to the chef it’s like a cooking show on the tube where he has like twelve minutes to put together a four course meal complete with barf bag and Alka-seltzer.
“The best part of the meal is watching it being created,” he’ll say as his brow drips sweat into the lemon paste and he scorches the butter/cream sauce.
I hate going to dinner…
I love going to Subway. Seriously, not only are the subs delicious, but the aura of anticipation is like wondering if my new deodorant is turning on my super hot date when I put my arm around her at the dollar movies. I just never know, and it’s the kind of deodorant where the ad says she’ll be shedding her clothes in my 1997 Buick on the ride home. Good times…
The kid behind the Subway counter (and you just know they were hoping you’d walk up…they get paid by the sub right?) will ask the appropriate questions (what type of bread, what type of cheese, etc…?) as I stare at the menu board while wiping the drool off my chin.
But that’s not the best part…
“Would you like double meat”, pimple face will ask as my eyes come back down. I’ll delicately decline. About this time the skinny grandmother with the fatso grandkid will come up behind me and the other ‘Sub-Specialists’ will don the clear gloves and pretend they hadn’t hoped the kid with the balloons on a long string hadn’t asked Grandma to go to McDonalds.
Getting to the best part…
“Would you like your sub toasted?”
I try to act like I missed it… like English isn’t my first language. I pretend fatso the grandkid just touched my derriere with his blue balloon. I’ve been known to fake deafness at this point…
“Sir, would you like it toasted?”
“Ummmm, sure,” I’ll give out quite noncommittal, though at a place deep within my soul the hormone sensor is belting out ounces at an unprecedented rate. Because ladies and gentlemen…this is the kill shot! This is the best fifteen seconds of my whole week…
This is the best part!!!
The metal ladle/paddle thingie is placed under the plastic thingie with my sub above and then launched into the oven-thingie. With a hand well versed in the art of sub making the teenager will push a button and 15 magical seconds will appear on the LED above. 15, but then before you know it it’s 14, and you realize some incredible heat is being forced into the air around your sub. My sub…my precious.
20 seconds is too long, I just don’t have that kind of attention span folks. The kid behind me will surely sneeze one of those wet ones, or grandma will fart and act like it was the little hoodlum with the blue balloons. The loudspeaker will go off, or the other sub gourmet will drop the other sub on the floor. It’ll be burnt at 20 and I just know it…curling little edges of my garlic bread scorched like paper in a fire.
10 seconds is too short…hell the bread won’t even get warmed up. Few things in life worthwhile happen in 10 seconds or less.
“Would you like yours toasted,” the sweet voice will ask Granny behind me, which only adds to the allure of the whole thing. My sub is being toasted to 15 second perfection in front of an audience!
My sub-artist will now reach up and place her non-gloved hand on the railing of the door panel…she’d anticipating too! In 5 seconds the dingie is going to chime the joy of my whole world and as she spins the paddle in her hand I see it as being the same pose the guy with the heavy gas can at the Daytona 500 holds in anticipation.
Now it’s the anticipation of the bell thingie that draws my eyes over her beefy shoulder to the LED…it’s nearly time! 15 beautiful seconds to perfection, and in 1 second she’s going to swing that paddle up expertly, slide it under the plastic tray with my sub on top, and with the precision of a well-rested brain surgeon fling it onto the white plastic in front of the veggies and look up to me for direction.
I’ve been asked to leave Subway on more than one occasion…


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