Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sandwich Snobbery Is an Ugly Thing

When I left the frostbitten sidewalks of Truman State University, I dreamed of becoming a regular columnist for the New York Times.

Here I am nearly 10 years later as an unpaid contributor to the Suburban Father Alliance blog. I think it’s safe to say, “Mom, I made it.”

Like you, I’ve been thrilled to read John and Jamie’s exploits over the years. (I just realized my name starts with a J also.) When they asked me to be their Illinois correspondent, I was thrilled.

Speaking of Illinois, let’s address that now. Yes, I’m from an Illinois suburb of St. Louis – O’Fallon. Yeah, it’s a different world over here. When Chesterfield is being bombarded by snow, we are left waiting a whole 45 minutes before the system makes it here.

If you ever cross the Mississippi River into Illinois, most of you know to drive a minimum of 12 miles into Illinois before exiting the interstate. Never been over here? Well, there’s a pit of human despair that extends from the river until you reach the bluffs of Fairview Heights. It’s called East St. Louis. If you're not familiar with the area, you may want to steer clear.

A little more about myself…I grew up in Rolla, Mo. Yep, I’m a native Missourian, and, yes, I root for the Cardinals. However, I do not root for the Los Angeles Rams. What? They’re still in St. Louis? Just wait another year.

My wife (Tiffany) and I have two children. Lucas was born Oct. 20, 2008. He passed away on Nov. 17, 2010 after a rough battle with leukemia. You can read about it at his Caring Bridge site.

Lucas was diagnosed in June 2010. Here he is just days earlier.

Our youngest son, Linus, was born Oct. 25, 2011. Luckily he’s now sleeping through the night. He looks a lot like his brother; and we’re very blessed to have him.

Here's Linus this past fall. They resemble each other, just a bit.

Meat and's not enough

In preparing for this blog, I did a lot of soul searching about who I am. During lunch on Monday, I came to a very difficult truth about myself. I’m a sandwich snob.

You see, a typical homemade sandwich consisting of meat, cheese and condiments just isn’t good enough for me. I blame Subway for my sandwich snobbery. More specifically, I blame the Rolla Subway network. Years of choosing from a veritable garden at Subway has ruined me.

You see, despite my grandpa’s ramblings on “why would anyone pay $5 for some bread and cold cuts”, the Subway craze caught on early in Rolla. There are currently five Subways in the town. At any moment, all 19,506 residents are never more than 7 minutes from a Subway. With the recent addition of a Jimmy John's, I think it's safe to say Rolla is a town that loves its sandwiches.

Yet, I must remind you that this town's lust for sandwiches has created a first-rate sandwich snob. Is this a victimless crime? Ask my wife. I doubt my eye rolls at ham and cheese on two pieces of standard wheat bread have made her feel good about tossing "sandwiches" out there as a viable lunch option. When faced with such glum options, I sometimes find myself applying unnatural methods to hum-ho ingredients in an effort to create a sum greater than its parts. For three straight days, I toasted salami and cheese on wheat in a pan. Foolish? Absolutely. Everyone knows salami is a meat best served cold. It's amazing the ridiculous methods a snob will employ when faced with a poorly-stocked fridge.

This just won't do.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to throw this garbage in the trash and head over to Casey’s. They just added a “sandwich parlor” next to the rotating racks of pizza. I need to see what that’s all about.


  1. that sandiwch looks good man...nothing better than those gas station sanwiches though...

    1. Yeah, you're a real gas station sandwich connoisseur. I remember you busting out the pre-packaged tuna salad on white bread quite a few times. I must say, you have much better taste when it comes to beef jerky.

  2. Replies
    1. Missourians always like to point out how expensive it is to live in Illinois. "Oh, you pay so much for gas." I like reminding them that we do not pay personal property tax. I have yet to add "How do you like them apples" in one of these conversations. Figure I'll work my way up to that.

  3. Life is much better between two slices of bread