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Category Archives: Fiscally Savvy

An Unacceptable Amount of Mayonnaise

This post originally appeared on Long Awkward Pause.   They’re a fun bunch who I contribute to sporadically and whose site is fun to peruse.

 

 

Dear Mr. James of the Family John,

 

I’ll drop the formalities, Jimmy John; I’m going to be frank. Yesterday I thought I ordered a sandwich, but upon unwrapping the culinary atrocity you’d delivered I found nothing except disappointment and confusion—much like a child tearing open a birthday present only to find this year’s edition of Quicken. What I received was no sandwich; it was more akin to a small raft of bread floating atop a congealed caloric ocean on its voyage to Type II diabetes.

 

My appetite was gone, but not satiated.

 

The ratio was revolting. The term sandwich was inaccurate. Sandwich implies some bit of structural integrity when, in fact, this was just a coagulated mass. Out of context I’d have surmised it was industrial cafeteria waste or an interactive art project gone awry. Jimmy John, I wanted lunch not poor man’s potato salad, my non-mayonnaise toppings suspended within the gob like casualties in Attack of the Blob.

 

I immediately threw it out, needless to say. It’s now feeding the dumpster rats that lack self-control.

 

My cubicle’s carpet, though, will never regain its innocence.

 

I fear I’m being unfairly stereotyped, Jimmy John. I know I live in the Midwest. I know I’m part of the demographic that leads this nation in cheese-based restaurants and child heart attacks. I know we sell t-shirts that read “Flavor Country: We’ll Show Restraint When We’re Prematurely Dead.” But, Jimmy John, we’re not all Rascal-riding gluttons. Some of us view sandwiches as more than just vehicles to ingest mayonnaise.

 

Sure, freaky fast delivery is great, but not when it’s in such haste that your sandwich-slinging bigots are applying sweeping generalization to populations just to get orders out on schedule.

 

Prejudices like this are tough to stomach. Please, stop ascribing your narrow-minded beliefs about me based off my location and neighbors’ waistlines. Get to know me for who I am: a customer who experiences white-hot rage whenever he’s delivered a meal that’s drowning in white, room-temperature goo.

 

I have a dream that my children can someday live in a world where mayonnaise always comes on the side. Yes, I know it’d be more expensive and would render your company’s vats and masonry trowels useless, but it is a compromise. Your stereotyping sandwich servants could remain and continue to pigeonhole customers to their blackened hearts’ content, yet, by only giving packets, they’d never again be able to ruin a lunch through over-mayonnaise-ing!

 

Be a leader who looks out for people. This country needs a sandwich king, not a sandwich Führer.

 

 

Marginalized as Another Midwesterner,

Justin Gawel

 

 

 

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Almost Strangers Almost on an Almost Train

“Honey, we’ve gone over this; Jane and I are just catching up today.

 

“No, no, no, I’d never do anything like that; it’d be like eating Jif when you’ve got Skippy waiting at home. Look, you and I have been married eleven wonderful years. I wouldn’t—I couldn’t—throw all this away for some choosy, opinionated mom in a railcar-style diner.

 

“Don’t worry about a thing. Jane and I were together for, maybe, three weeks back when were fresh out of college. She’s essentially a stranger at this point, a boring, weak-tea-and-water-flavored-oatmeal-ordering stranger. You’re the keeper. Fun, a little daring, you’re the one I chose to share my life with. Jane’s no keeper; she’s more like taupe wallpaper: static, particular, and painfully bland.

 

“I couldn’t tell you specifics; it’s been close to twenty years since I’ve seen her. Really, I’m remembering across-the-board average: not pretty enough or freakish enough to turn heads. Made-for-TV-movie forgettable. You’re much more attractive, okay? Is that the ego boost you’re looking for? Fine, yes, if we must, we can rehash that everyone I ever dated before you was a filthy tramp crafted out of nothing more than wickedness and cellulite.

 

“Wait, honey, that’s brilliant. Jane would be perfect; she’s oozing with pure nondescript unremarkableness! I can see it now, ‘Be on the lookout for an ordinary, possibly Caucasian, bipedal, carbon-based maybe-woman wearing muted tones and being likely some number of years old.’ The police would be stumped; Jane’d never be caught, let alone ever linked back to us.

 

“No, stop, no more second guessing; it was a good idea and it’s the right thing to do. Uncle Rich has been squandering away his fortune, our owed inheritance, in that assisted-care facility long enough. Sponge baths, cable, electricity for his breathing machine, glamor enemas, he’s become unbearably frivolous! We get Plain Jane in there, she inadvertently pulls his plug, I’ll yank out a life-sustaining plug or two in her life or maybe, like, clean her gutters or something, and we’re good. A little guilt-riddled, but financially set. Crisscross.

 

“It just makes sense; the numbers don’t lie. Neither of our parents will give us the money to support our lifestyle. Neither of us can get the hours at work. We’re already on our second mortgage and creditors are calling every day. At this point we just need to do what’s right for us. It’s the best option. Family comes first, and immediate family comes before nearly-dead, flush-with-cash uncle.

 

“We can’t waver. This could solve everything. It’s our Hail Mary but desperate times call for desperate measures and if we’re going to have the funds in place to buy a new speedboat in time for summer we need him to die ASAP. I just can’t wait to see our so-called friends, green with envy, as the two of us zip around the lake on our new forty-footer, no longer the laughingstock of the club. This will be our summer, baby; an uncle murder is a small price to pay to finally achieve affluence and social status.

 

“Now don’t you worry your pretty little head. I’ll press Jane to get this done quick; I think the boat show’s in town next weekend.”

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