Before I tell you this story, I want to make one thing clear: I have always hated when delis and other eating establishments give their sandwiches or meals “clever” names.
Why, you ask? Because undoubtedly I’m going to want the thing on the menu with the most ridiculous sounding name. In my head, I’m ordering the spinach, brie, and turkey wrap. But on the menu, I’m ordering Laverne’s Dream Wrap. In my head, I want the chicken cutlet sandwich. On the menu, I’m ordering the Cousin Ed.
Awkwardness is unavoidable, and I hate it.
But you know what else is unavoidable? Delis with awkwardly named sandwiches. Or so I’ve learned.
Case-in-point, a certain deli caters our cafeteria. It’s fine. Rumor has it they’re being replaced soon, but none of the employees are supposed to mention it. Lest we spend a couple of weeks choking down spit sammies. But I digress. It’s fine.
EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. All of the wraps and sandwiches have funny names.
And sure, I could list out every ingredient I want in my sandwich just to avoid saying the name, but that’s not efficient. And when there’s a line of people behind me, I’m bound to panic and say something wrong. (THERE’S JUST SO MUCH PRESSURE TO HURRY UP.)
So instead, I’ll do what they want me to do. I’ll order the Samson Swinger. Or Carla’s Favorite.
But here’s where the real trouble begins. Because apparently the deli that caters our cafeteria has no idea what is on their menu.
A few weeks ago a little sign appeared on the counter advertising Karen’s Special. It sounded delicious: turkey, gouda, spinach, sauteed onions, and Russian dressing on a roll. What’s not to like? I noticed the sign when it went up (obviously this must be something new), but didn’t have a chance to try it until, well, today.
As I approached the counter, already dreading having to order some other woman’s special, I bit the bullet and ordered.
And the guy behind the counter stared at me blankly.
“What’s that?” he asked me, as if I was just some chump making up sandwich names.
I gestured at the placard and giggled nervously.
“Um…that.” He looked where I was pointing, but apparently had never noticed the sign before.
That had been there for weeks.
I turned it around to face him and he spent a solid thirty seconds staring at it.
“I don’t know if we have that cheese.”
Um…ok? I’m mean, it’s fine for you not to have every kind of cheese, but then why would you make a special sign for the sandwich you cannot make?
“Oh…that’s fine. Provolone is fine.”
He and the other cook conferred for a minute about the ingredients. They both looked stumped. They both gave me weird looks. Like I had made this weird! Like I had somehow tricked them by smuggling in my own sandwich sign when they weren’t looking.
“Really, provolone is fine!” I chirped, eyeing the line behind me uneasily. They both shrugged, made the sandwich. I took it, paid, and fled.
I mean, the sandwich was delicious. So it’s not all bad. But I’ll probably never order it again. Because lunch should not be that stressful.
And, you know, they’re getting replaced soon.