March 3, 2005

The Salad Trolls

There is a sandwich I love at a sub shop near my house -- I call it Salad Sandwich, and it makes me really really happy. It's just chicken in a wrap with spinach and lettuce and tomato and onion and carrot and olive and green pepper and Southwestern dressing. I could eat it every day. I used to eat it a couple of times a week... until the salad trolls came.

The salad trolls were two new employees that seemed to become the Sub Shop's Default Setting -- they were ALWAYS there. They didn't have anything in common. The blonde girl with Architectural Digest-Worthy bangs had porcelain nails so aggressively long and blade-like that they threatened to poink through there protective gloves and bury themselves deep in the jugular of some hapless bun. She worked the sandwich line in Cruel Shoes and turquoise eyeliner. The other was 1986-level androgynous ---baggy, gender-neutral clothing, a mullet, milky-skinned, make-up free, every visible orifice pierced---I could not tell if if was a boy or a girl until it opened its mouth and spoke, at which point I realized it had either just sucked up a giant lung full of helium or it was female.

Do I sound bitter? I AM SURE THEY ARE NICE KIDS OR WHATEVER and when I think of the hair-do I sported in college (it often had a rat in it-- not a TEASED rat, I mean an actual ALIVE MAMMAL type rat-- for one thing... more on this later) I think Bangs and Mullet are both light-years ahead of where I was in my Hair Evolution at the same age, and, you know, I have to admit that no one ever DIED of the High Bang and a little androgyny never hurt anyone and I was perfectly willing to live and let live....but.
They were absolutely incapable of making Salad Sandwich.
Could. Not. Do. It.
And it wasn't JUST that they were careless and slopped the ingredients on higgledy-piggledy so that half the sandwich would be Bones-of-the-Ancients-level Dry and then all of a sudden I would encounter a bite that was 90% dressing, a cool wad of gelid, spicy fat leaping out from behind a spinach leaf to coat my mouth in unadulterated oily repugnance, it was ALSO that while I was trying to not throw up in my mouth, the back of the wrap would unravel and the rest of the sandwich's guts would plop moistly into my lap.

And the more miserable my once pleasant sandwich experience become, the higher the bangs seemed to loom, and the more pink-rimmed and infected the multiple piercing holes looked. And they started hating me back, because I began to try to MICRO MANAGE the building of my sandwich from behind the glass, you know, instructing whichever of them was mauling it on exactly how many pieces of onion and how to lay them out like TILE so that there would be a modicum of onion in every bite.

I should have just stopped going, but its like that PLEASURE CENTER RAT EXPERIMENT. You know, the one where they cut off the top of the rat's skull and plog the hole with a big pink rubber brain cap that sticks up half an inch like a rubbery Mohawk with wires coming out the top, and the cap has a little sockety thing that let's you plug his BRAIN into a machine and send signals that target his pleasure center, and every time he presses a button, he has an orgasm, and, if it is a male rat, I know for a FACT he will sit there PRESSING AND PRESSING AND PRESSING that button with a water dish four steps away, he will press and press and press until he DIES OF DEHYDRATION. <---absolutely true.

(DIGRESSION: I had a pet rat like in college. Named Simon. White with pink eyes. He was an Ex-lab rat and he had the big brain cap I have already described permanently fused to his head. Simon was a VERY sweet rat who would make a NEST in my long hair and go to sleep there, riding around on my shoulder, tangled in my black-died Morgana Goth-locks, and if I had ever worn hom to work at, say, the Taco Bell, and some nice, 30-something PTA mom had come in to get a spot of lunch, I am sure she would have freaked out about the tropical-fish eye-make-up and the hair with Frankenstein's Rat in it, but, on the other hand, she would have gotten a DERN FINE BURRITO, crafted with PRIDE and LOVE, with CHEESE equally distributed into every bite. OOPS that wasn't a digression, that was my exact point. ANYWAY.)

Back to this sub shop, I kept going back there for Salad Sandwich just like a lab-rat whose machine has been unhooked. He will keep going back and CHECKING to see if the magic-happy-button has started working again.

I didn't give up until a week ago last Tuesday. THAT was the fateful Tuesday upon which I saw Androgynous Girl making out with her equally androgynous boyfriend (Body by Victoria, Hair by Flock of Seagulls). They were back in the kitchen, but in PLAIN SIGHT of anyone (like, say, me) who was at the beginning of the sandwich line, their tongues slithering together so that their matching tongue studs clacked, which, EW, but OKAY, it's not like she was going to spread the dressing on the wrap by LICKING IT ON, in fact its not like she was going to spread the dressing on AT ALL she was just going to BLOP one very LARGE cold DOLLOP OF IT somewhere in the middle, so whatever, BUT THEN! I noticed that she had her protectively gloved hands CLUTCHING HIS BUTTOCKS, yes you heard me, CLUTCHING his jeans clad, androgynous buttocks, the same buttocks he had no doubt been using to SIT ON FILTHY STONE BENCHES, benches CAKED in bird poo, she was clutching the VERY buttocks that he had SEVERAL DAYS AGO clothed in the shredded remains of PLAGUE INFESTED thrift store jeans that had not seen the inside of a washing machine since the last time he was home and his mom did his laundry which was probably Spring Break of 2002, and then she released his filthy buttocks and came DIRECTLY BACK TO THE SALAD SANDWICH MAKING LINE! Without changing her BUTTOCKY GLOVES!

And the pleasure-machine spell was broken and I pulled my Salad Sandwich brain cap off and I am DONE.

It's been a week and two days. Lordy, but I miss that sandwich.

Posted by joshilyn at March 3, 2005 7:49 AM

Oh, Joshilyn. I feel your pain. I, too, was/am a persnickety sandwich maker/eater. In fact, I've been snickered at numerous times for my tendency to butter my toast evenly to the very last square millimeter.(uh, okay, so maybe anal would be a more accurate label) I think you demonstrated nearly angelic restraint and poise. I would have been sorely tempted to do something horribly politically incorrect and quite probably prosecutable. Like sweeping around the counter, dragging said employee up to their post and then demonstrating by actual example, what was required to build a decent sandwich, all the time railing at said person about the possibility that if they did not, nor ever would possess the meager skills necessary to perform said manually dexterous activities, that they might want to investigate the employment opportunities for live statues. Um, not that I have real strong feeling about food preparation or anything. *heh*

Posted by: David at March 3, 2005 8:46 AM

This is hilarious! Not that I'm laughing at your tragic separation from sandwich. But the telling is amazing!

Question: You were allowed to have Simon in your hair at Taco Bell?

Posted by: Katie at March 3, 2005 11:07 AM

Hmmm...could you perhaps go to a different Subway? One with less buttocky-handed sandwich "artists?" Just a thought....

Posted by: carrster at March 3, 2005 1:22 PM

OMG no no! Any taco bell that would ALLOW me to cook with a rat on my head should be sacked by huns. I was just saying, HYPOTHETICALLY, that IF I had been working at a Taco Bell in college (which I did not, I worked for a little non-chain take-out place making shrimp salad sandwiches with EVENLY DISTRUBUTED SPROUTS) and IF I had taken Simon to work (which I never did) and freaked out the customers, I STILL would have made a tasty burrito with evenly distributed cheese. I am editing the entry a little to fix that...

Posted by: joshilyn at March 3, 2005 2:23 PM

I'm printing this out (right now) and I'm sending it to the Sub Store management. They need to know! This is my sandwich shop, too! Blech!

Posted by: Dana at March 3, 2005 5:56 PM

I can't stop laughing at Salad Sandwich brain cap. Go you for pulling that bad boy off.

Posted by: Laura at March 4, 2005 3:50 PM

Ok, I get it. Even distribution is an excellent quality in sandwich making but not so much in story-telling where blobby emphatic squirts of embellishment are MUCH more appetizing!

Despite my confusion at Simon's presence in Taco Bell and your Morgana goth years employment history, I LOVED reading this. It is HILARIOUS.

Posted by: Katie at March 4, 2005 4:18 PM

Hold the phone. Am I to understand that YOU, o hater of plague-infested mice, once allowed a RAT to make nests IN YOUR HAIR? Eeeeeeeeeeeewww!!!

And that's all I have to say about THAT.

Posted by: Amy at March 4, 2005 7:01 PM