I walked into a bakery/restaurant the other day to pick up a sandwich.
I was running errands, I did not want to drive all the way home for my usual salad and I was parked next to a bakery with a chalkboard that advertised: “Freshly made sandwiches.” Who am I to argue with a chalkboard? In I went.
The drama began shortly after I decided on the turkey on whole grain bread. The first on the tray to catch my eye was the multi grain with mystery meat but when I discovered the meat was heavily salted and processed I opted for the sour dough bread with a lower fat meat, trading for a leaner protein but a less healthy bread source.
Just as I heard about the turkey on whole grain and quickly nodded yes, George and Martha entered (names have been altered for the sandwich buyer’s protection though, his name really was George and I’m unsure if her name was ever said aloud).
Martha asked the girl behind the deli counter if roast beef was the special today. This after a lengthy discussion leading up to the line about how it had been rumoured that roast beast was the special and that George would really love the roast beef and how unbelievable it would be if he was in the bakery on the same day the roast beef was also the special.
“Yes” the deli girl answered and George and Martha lit up, but not before George turned on his hearing aid in his left ear and asked her for confirmation of the roast beef special.
Martha asked, “How big is the roast beef?” (as you do)
The sandwich girl formed her hands together in the shape of a heart in what could best be described as the most perfect roast beef sandwich finger-mime shape I had ever seen.
Martha nearly fainted, “OH MY GOD! THAT is RIDICULOUS!”
At this point I was unsure if Martha was as impressed with the way the deli counter girl was able to hold an imaginary sandwich not losing any imaginary lettuce or dripping any imaginary mustard on her lap or at the imaginary size of today’s special.
I thought perhaps Martha was going to grab George’s arm and speed walk out of the bakery disgusted.
Unsatisfied with deli-girl’s brilliant portrayal of the sandwich’s size, she asked to see one, in complete denial that any roast beef sandwich on this planet could possibly be that size.
Deli girl returned with the roast beef special (yep, turkey on multi-grain was definitely the right choice) George grinned from aid to aid. Martha looked at George with a glare that said, “I will divorce you right now after 75 years of wedded bliss if you order that monstrosity.”
George was perplexed. If he ordered the sandwich he was going to hear about it (vaguely, muffled), not only from Martha but from Betty, her friend who was equally angered by the bakery’s blatant disregard for the size a roast beef sandwich should be.
I quietly said, “I think you could ask them to split it for you?”
Martha rolled her eyes at Betty and Betty raised her cane ever-so-slightly in my direction.
Oh I’m in this now.
And then we stood staring at the sandwich (the real one) being held up by the deli counter girl and I felt a ping of discomfort for having become involved in the great roast beef debate but wanted to help George, Martha and Betty get what they came for. If that was a bite sized shaving of roast beef with a sign that said “Today’s Special” on it then that’s what I was going to do.
Except that isn’t what I did because I had errands to run so I paid for my sandwich and left while the debate at the counter continued.
But not before I erased the chalkboard notice, “Freshly made sandwiches” and changed it to, “Today’s Special HUGE Roast Beef Sandwiches. George approved.”