Sunday, July 29, 2012


Trays of sandwiches, quartered diagonally. Wretched pyramids. Triangles of misery. That’s the cheese. That’s the chicken. That’s the ham. That’s the egg. That’s the ham and egg. Trays of sandwiches herald awkward formality. A gathering of unlikeminded souls. Trays of sandwiches are accompanied by strained conversation:
‘What route did you take here?’ Oh, was it busy? I saw a dog looking out a passenger seat window on that route once.’
‘Were there any dogs looking out passenger seat windows on your way here? Yes, well you sometimes see them. I could’ve sworn the one I saw was wearing sunglasses and had a cigarette dangling from its mouth. That may have been my mind playing tricks on me though. Does your mind play tricks on you at all? You really can’t be sure of anything can you? I mean, you just have to take things at face value but anything could be happening, you know, on a quantum level.’
(Profound silence)
‘. . .anyway, try the ham and egg, they’re nice.’

Trays of sandwiches are a bad omen. They mean bad things. They are produced at times of trauma. Someone gets very sick or badly injured and worried relatives gather around trays of sandwiches. You can tell who’s least worried because they are really tucking in. Or maybe they are the most worried. Trays of sandwiches accompany us throughout our lives. They are there at all the major junctures. Someone is born: tray of sandwiches. A couple get married: tray of sandwiches. Someone dies: tray of sandwiches. Vietnam: tray of sandwiches.

Trays of sandwiches remind us of the last time we saw a tray of sandwiches and if the last time we saw a tray of sandwiches was a bad time (and if a tray of sandwiches was involved it probably was) then our reaction to the tray of sandwiches can be dramatic. The sight of a tray of sandwiches often activates PTSD. When trays of sandwiches are produced, some of us transform into blubbering John Rambos recalling our own shoeshine box incidents:
‘I wanna go home! I wanna go home! He keeps calling my name! I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy! I said, with what? I can't find your fuckin' legs! I can't find your legs!’
Quite the faux pas.

I think gangsters shouldn’t leave horse heads in beds as a warning. Instead, I think they should bring a tray of sandwiches to their intended victim. That would be much scarier. Imagine, you’re sitting some place and all of a sudden some shady character comes over and sets down a tray of sandwiches in front of you. Jesus, the hair is standing up on the back of my neck just thinking about it.

If aliens ever come to Earth and we are preparing to greet them, I don’t think we should have trays of sandwiches involved. The aliens might react badly. They might have trays of sandwiches on their own planet and the negative feelings they associate with trays of sandwiches might make them aggressive. They might open fire with some awful weapon and the world will be destroyed. We’ll be left in an arid wasteland, gathered in the charred remnant of a dining room, comforting ourselves with trays of sandwiches. Making small talk over slices of stale fungal bread. Stiff, with rat meat in the middle.

Trays of sandwiches, quartered diagonally. Desolate Alps. Equilaterals of anguish. Try the ham and egg, they’re nice.

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