Mac and I went to lunch today at Subway, which he pronounces “Sooubway” for some internet meme reason, and now I do, too. I observed something during our lunch together, which was very enjoyable and filled with conversations about Jim Gaffigan and Fortnite (what a mashup that would be, yes?) Anyway, I noticed something.
Have you noticed that getting a sandwich made at Subway is like a high-pressure job interview? Question after question is peppered at you, and your answer will determine your success and enjoyment in the future. The tension is high. They’ve got prefabricated food to assemble. All the while the line keeps getting longer. Mac and I have done this a few times, but the whole process is still kinda new and, from his point of view, wildly unfamiliar.
WHAT KIND OF BREAD? is an intense question to toss at a young kid. You and I know that there are different kinds of bread, but Peanut Butter ‘n’ Jelly comes on one kind: the normal kind. “The normal kind of bread” is a completely unacceptable answer at Subway. Italian? Wheat? Osiago Mogiago Cheese Blend with Sulfur Garnish and Organic Oats? WHICH ONE!? SIX INCH OR FOOTLONG? CHEESE? And then there’s the whole toasting thing. Do I want toast? Um, no? Oh, yes, toast it. Wait, what? And “veggies”, which is what they have to call them now, not vegetables, for reasons I can’t think up right now, are no simple pleasure. Do I say what I want as they’re putting other things on, or am I obligated as a customer to wait for them to finish with the lettuce before I say cucumber? Or should I have said cucumber*S* because I want more than one slice? And what kind of bread did I get again? ANYTHING ELSE? What’s “Sriracha” and how do I avoid contracting it? CHIPS MEAL DRINK COOKIES SIZE?
Listen, this is no criticism of the way things are. I’m just saying that it sure looks different from the side of novelty. Such a curious ritual we endure, often without second thought. We know what we want, we anticipate the questions, we eat our sandwich and spend the drive back to work getting lettuce out of our teeth.
So. Have you tried something unfamiliar today?