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Thursday, January 12, 2012

analog sandwich aside

So here we are. 
One of the comments from my last post -- “secret” -- was from a friend who mentioned that he prefers not to follow people who use their 140 characters to type mindless asides on their sandwiches. I don’t intentionally follow sandwich-tweeters, either... but the sentiment echoed something I’d written in one of my Playbill.com guest-blogs from August 2010, wherein I suspected that the real reason the Library of Congress was archiving tweets was for the preservation of sandwich history, as Twitter posts (and Facebook status updates) often tend towards sandwich-centricity. Not even the brightest, smartest, and funniest tweeters are completely immune to it. 
It begs the question: did we always care this much about sandwiches? Or is sandwich obsession purely a byproduct of the Internet?
This, along with my currently being immersed in Downton Abbey, inspired the following attempt at polite chuckle-inducing... my imagining of how this all began:

March 22, 1912
My dearest Hattie,
It is a lovely day here in Shropshavington-On-Surris, and my thoughts, as always, turn to you. 
As I relay to you this update on my status, I want to share with you an occurrence of extraordinary stature that commenced this noontime.
When Cambridge brought up my luncheon today, I expected a dreary retelling of last evening’s roast, by way of a tiresome stew. What he placed before me, however, is worthy of sonnets and love songs.
Twas a simple sandwich, my love, but O! The meats and cheeses! The hearty, rustic, fragrant bread! It was as ample as your bosom, my darling, and dare I say nearly as sweet.
Bite after bite, the angels sang, my dearest. They sang like the wind sings in your hair on a summer’s day. With each clamping of my jaw, there was a new burst of deliciousness. Never had textures mingled with flavors in this way. Never had my tongue been so excited. Never had my lips been kissed by such a mélange of mastication. I blushed a woman’s blush.
I must mention to you the bacon. It danced with its meat brothers across my taste buds as the cheese and bread melted and melded into magic. I threw my fork across the room in an explosion of joy. Cambridge replaced it, of course. He is a good lad.
Lady mine, indeed I find myself questioning everything I ever knew about the world order. We scoff at the humble pig, that wallowing beast, throwing it our insults and feeding it our slop, when in fact its miraculous flavours demand that we should bow before it. Simply because a creature rolls low on the ground in life hardly makes it lesser upon roasting. Geese may soar gracefully above us, but goose is ever so gamey. 
O, my darling Hattie, my love, if only you could have experienced a single crumb of this repast! It pains me so to think that all I can share with you are my insufficient words. 
Still, words are powerful. Perhaps someday the world will advance such that the mighty sandwich will reign supreme and be the subject of many missives. Perhaps there will come a time when sandwiches will be mused upon and upon and upon, until the ink wells run dry, until the pen nib is worn to a nub, until the typewriter ribbons are shredded and their hammers flattened. 
O! What a happy time that shall be.
But we are men, mortal and flawed, and prone to overindulging our desires in every way. Alas, I foresee a distant foreboding future, a hundred years from now, when such sandwich odes and reflections indeed choke the air, becoming so ample and prolific that they deteriorate and rot into brief, mindless asides that are only a handful of words long. They will be thrown into the sky like so many little birds, flittering and twittering, and they will not be meant to celebrate the sandwich, but rather to celebrate and draw attention to its consumer. 
But surely, with God in His heaven, that horrible day will never come.
Your loving,
Now that’s long-form smartassery!
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.


  1. This just made me laugh out a lot. Nearly spilled my morning coffee. Love your writing style. Is it okay if I tweet it out to my followers? ;)

  2. You are too kind. I just asked my writing style if it would like to be tweeted, and it wagged its tail happily. (Of course, I did also have to swat its nose with a rolled-up newspaper because of what it almost did to your coffee.)

    So tweet away! Many thanks.


  3. What chrisis said. This is the best post ever. And much like chrisis, I too have to tweet it, but MUST go one better - it's getting Facebooked too!

    And completely on topic, since I enjoy the gifts of the comically gifted, I know that Alan Alda's given last name is the same as yours. Any relation? Just curious. (And I'm sorry if that information is posted here on your blog and I just haven't seen it)

  4. Again, thanks for all the linking.

    Nothing in my family tree has ever shown evidence of my being related to Alan Alda, as much as I would love to share even the tiniest strand of DNA with him. Even so, my husband likes to refer to him as "Cousin Alan."


  5. Happy to to do it. It already has one of my friends cracking up.

    As for Alan Alda, who wouldn't want to be able to make that claim? I submit that the whole human race is related, albeit very distantly in most cases. So I think your husband is right. Alan Alda probably is you cousin... just through 62 degrees of familial seperation.

  6. Already did it, sadly it was early in the morning in my time zone and late night for my American friends, so probably not many people saw it... Also, don't feel guilty for my almost spilled coffee. If it wanted to be spilled it sure would have done it ;)