2019-02-08 / Commentary

Hamming it up

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

Sometimes my life feels like it should be in a movie.

A comedy.

No matter what I try to do, it always seem to turn into a scene from some sitcom or a Saturday Night Live skit! Today for instance, I needed to order some sandwiches for a church function tomorrow night. I called my local deli and spoke to a man.

“Hi…I’d like to order some sandwiches please.”

“Sandwiches, you say?”

“Yes…I’d like to order some for a function tomorrow.”

“Sure thing, ma’am… let me get my order pad.” There was considerable shuffling and other odd noises but he came back to the phone, a little out of breath but eager to be helpful.

“Okay ma’am…now what would you like?”

“I’d like a platter of your tea sandwiches please…you can use white and wheat bread and I’d like…”

“Excuse me ma’am… did you say you wanted a platter of sandwiches?”

“Yes….a platter of your tea sandwiches please. I’d like a variety of bread and as far as the spreads…”

“Oh wait just a second ma’am…I thought you meant you wanted ONE sandwich…I didn’t know you needed a platter. Hold on, I got the wrong order pad.”

OK… there was more shuffling, more peculior sounds and some throat clearing. He got back on the phone, had no idea what a tea sandwich was, and after several attempts at trying to grasp my explanations, he handed me over to a woman.

“Hello Ma’am…my name is Bobbi-Sue (not her real name) and I can help you with your order. Now what was it that you wanted that got Billy (not his real name either) so flustered?” She giggled at this.

“Billy was flustered? Oh my,” I replied. “I just wanted to order a platter of tea sandwiches for my church ladies’ meeting tomorrow night. The…”

“Oh now isn’t that the SWEETEST thing! I’ll bet your church lady friends love you to death don’t they?”

I took a deep bracing yoga breath…I began to wonder if Billy and Bobbi- Sue were related somehow. At this rate, I may never get my platter of tea sandwiches.

“Ummm….well they’ll definitely be grateful that I’M not making the sandwiches,” I gave her a self-deprecating laugh here. “So…I need the platter for about…”

“Oooh nowwww hun…..don’t you sell yourself short…I’ll bet you could make any kind of ol’ sandwich you wanted to if you just set your mind to it…but we’ll be glad to do it for you. Now…what size platter do you want?” Bobbi-Sue seemed to have blind faith in my kitchen skills.

I was struggling to remember if I had ever met this lady. Could a deli sandwich maker also moonlight as some sort of a life coach? She seemed to really care about me and my feelings but I knew I had to steer her away from a discussion about my culinary ability. After all…I had been on the phone for almost half an hour and STILL didn’t have my order placed!

“Well…I’d like to get the medium one please. And I’d like the sandwiches to be made with….”

“Oh now you need to be gettin’ the large one hun….it’s only five dollars more and you get so many more sandwiches! Yeah… you want the large one.”

I could hear her writing it down. I was flummoxed. I really didn’t want the large platter but she had a point…for only five dollars more…why not?

“Uh…oh…ok then… the large is fine. If I could have both white and wheat bread that would be gr….”

“Oh Sweetie…you want them little baby croissants for bread! It’s so much prettier. I’ll just get you those. Don’t you worry none…you’ll like them a whole lot better.”

Another deep yoga breath and I agreed to the croissants. This order was looking less and less like the one I had originally planned.

“Ok…let’s go with the croissants and as for the spreads, I’ll want the chicken salad, egg salad, pimento cheese and ham salad…”

“Oh NOOOO Hun! You do NOT want the ham salad. That’s an awful one! I hate that one. I’ll just give you the first three, how ‘bout that?”

“Well…actually. I think I DO want the ham salad ones too…the ladies I’m feeding seem to like that one.”

“OH NOOOOOOOOO! The ham is just AWFUL! When I first started here…and I been here for five years now….I just LOOOVVVED the ham salad…I ate it all the time… .I surely did…but I tell you… I just got to where I HATE that ham salad. You don’t want that….I’ll just give you the first three…that will be enough variety and since you decided on the large platter you’ll have plenty!”

At this point, I figured that if I really needed another option I might have to make it myself so I just told Bobbi-Sue that the three spreads were fine. I had made several more attempts to convince her to let me have a few ham salad sandwiches but she was so steadfast in her disdain of the ham salad that I began to have my own doubts.

Maybe she knew something I didn’t?

I’m just saying…

Return to top