Hold on there. Hang on a second. That's a sandwich. Sandwiches have been around since the 1st century B.C., according to a few histories of the sandwich that I've recently read. Nonetheless, it's still a brilliant concept, and I love a good sandwich.
By the way, I always thought the Earl of Sandwich was the guy who invented putting tasty stuff between a couple of pieces of bread. Apparently, it was a Jerusalem rabbi known as Hillel the Elder who built those first sandwiches, during the rule of King Herod. I don't know if the king was a sandwich fan, but I know I am. Since I'm not writing about the history of sandwiches, however, it does not matter. I'm simply trying to grab your attention, so I can tout to you the wonderfulness of the sandwich.
I didn't just now know fall off the sandwich tray, you know, or as Al Pacino as Lt. Col. Frank Slade once said, "I been around, you know?" I have been consuming delicious sandwiches in many places for many years, beginning with my very own sandwich creation when I was a youngster.
That first original Griggswich was constructed between two slices of Wonder bread. It featured a generous layer each of mayonnaise, peanut butter, pickles and potato chips. That fantastic formula sent me into a sandwich wonderland, a delectable place only a squirt-sized, Wonder-bread boy could appreciate.
Today, if I had to pick my top three sandwiches, I'd keep it simple:
1. Bacon, lettuce and tomato on toast with lots of mayo
2. Salami and provolone on baguette with lots of mayo
3. Grilled cheese with lots of cheese, but hold the mayo
I was tempted to include the glorious cheeseburger on the above list. After all, it is mouthwatering ground beef and cheese between two bun halves. But hamburgers and cheeseburgers are in a realm all their own. Respect the burger. Hail, oh mighty burger.
Plenty of creations and choices remain in the righteous realm of sandwiches. Reubens, Dagwoods, torpedoes, subs, po' boys, hoagies, heroes, triple-deckers and club sandwiches await us at delis, luncheonettes, bistros, cafes and fast-food joints everywhere. Only in the world of sandwiches, probably, does it not matter if your likes and ideals differ from those of others. That conservative Republican over there is chowing down on a roast beef and cheddar on a kaiser roll, just like you are, you liberal Democrat you. And look at your fellow leftwing wacko over there munching down that awful pastrami and swiss on rye with spicy mustard oozing all over her hands! Our conflicting tastes, though, do not matter, because we're all happy, enjoying our scrumptious sandwiches together, eating and living for the moment in utter harmony, in sandwich bliss.
I can easily remember the good times I had living in or visiting other places simply by remembering my favorite sandwiches in those countries or cities. Just think about it. I can think about it easily. Ah, yes, I recall the fantastic croque monsieurs I enjoyed at cafes in Paris. How can I forget the savory shrimp po' boys in old New Orleans? And if you think the Vietnamese don't know how to build a sandwich, you've never tried a luscious banh mi.
Perhaps our leaders could help the cause of world peace by sharing sandwiches. For example, picture President Obama meeting with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.
"Thank you, Hassan, for inviting me to Tehran. Here, I have brought you a heavenly corned beef sandwich from Manny's Coffee Shop and Deli on South Jefferson in Chicago. Peace be with you, my friend."
"You are so welcome, Barack, and thank you for such a delightful and tasty token of peace and harmony. Here, from me now, is this exquisite boccalone sandwich from right here in Tehran. Enjoy. May you and I and our countries live in peace for ever more."
So, you can see how meaningful and peace-loving sandwiches can be – not to mention how yummy and gratifying.
Time for a sandwich. Please cut me two slices of that Italian loaf. And pass me the Genoa and the provolone. Oh, yeah, and the MAYONNAISE!
(Anne gets tired of me saying "mayonnaise" like Louis Gossett Jr. as Gunnery Sgt. Foley says it to Richard Gere's character Zack Mayo in "An Officer and a Gentleman." I can't help it. MAYONNAISE!)