I’ve never had any trouble ordering a sandwich. I don’t mean to brag, but ordering a sandwich is normally a pretty easy affair. You look at the menu, decide what you want, and you order it. Sometimes everything looks good and you can’t decide which sandwich you want. This might be a stumbling block for amateurs, but not for the sandwich ordering pro. If you just clear your head, get into the sandwich mindset, and try to not second guess yourself, this obstacle can be overcome for most of us
But for the uneducated masses ordering a sandwich is a daunting, insurmountable task. At least that’s the view of New York Times columnist and perennial Internet punching bag David Brooks.
In a recent column about how intersectionality is ruining America or some other bullshit (who knows, I just skimmed it), Brooks relates an embarrassing anecdote:
“Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named Padrino and Pomodoro and ingredients
like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.”
Yes, the mild-mannered sandwich, once a staple of the working class due to its portability, is now the reserved domain of those who can afford dining at gourmet shops that ruin your sandwich by putting goat cheese on it instead of something that tastes good.
How ghastly a scenario! Imagine poor Brooks merely being seen with a lowly peasant who barely managed to complete high school. Now imagine that peasant trying to order a “gabagool” sandwich, blissfully unaware that the proper pronunciation is, of course, “capicollo.” I don’t know about you, but I’d die. David Brooks apparently thought he would die, so in an act of compassionate self-preservation, David swiftly ushered his unsophisticated companion out of the Sandwich Shoppe and over to the nearest Mexican place. Presumably, even a peasant can be trusted not to screw up a burrito order.
I’m not entirely sure why ordering Mexican cuisine is lower on the degree of difficulty scale than ordering pricey panini. You’ll have to ask David to explain that.
My advice to the unrefined, vulgar masses is to just stay home. Don’t stroll into a high class sandwich shop like you own the place and then start complaining about how $35 seems a bit steep for a chicken parm sprinkled with gold leaf and served on a weathered 2×4 instead of a plate. Stay home. Make a nice, uncomplicated bologna and cheese with yellow mustard on some white bread.
Or save yourself the embarrassment and stop dining out with brainless hacks like David Brooks. You’re running the same risk that cabbies take by picking up Thomas Friedman at an overseas airport, especially if it’s a day before he’s got a column due.