As my colleagues and I entered Penn Station today for lunch, we were preceded through the doors by two older ladies also looking to get their tasty sandwich needs fulfilled. One appeared very grandmotherly, with white hair and a care-worn face. The other, though, was one of the least friendly looking people I believe I’ve ever seen. Her eyes were held narrowed with a furrowed brow and she was constantly pursing her lips and screwing up her mouth in an expression of displeasure. She looked as if she was disappointed in everything in the vicinity and simultaneously preparing to pass to kidney stone the size of a Mini Cooper.
Being something of a jerk, I did what I do when surrounded by a crowd in a public place; I instantly concocted a completely unfounded judgment about this woman, whom will I never know in even the most remote sense. I then turned to one of my coworkers and whispered, “I’m going to hell for this, but lady is undoubtedly a wench.” My coworker wisely agreed.
The unfairly judged women stepped to the counter to place her order. Being the third one in line behind her, I could easily hear the order-taker repeat her sandwich instructions: chicken teriyaki sandwich, none of that teriyaki stuff, but mayo instead.
I’m sorry; did she just order the chicken teriyaki, no teriyaki plus mayo? That’s a crime against mankind and all sandwiches everywhere. I suppressed the urge to climb across the counter and demand, screaming hysterically, what that poor sandwich had ever done to her to be treated with such disrespect. For the love of all things holy, if you remove the teriyaki, the sandwich ceases to be chicken teriyaki, which is crime enough in my mind…but then to add mayo? Heresy! However, fearing that I might be asked to leave were I to release my furious opinion on the matter and um…strongly suggest…the woman reconsider her blasphemous order, I counted to ten slowly, and allowed the heathen to go on about her way.
Shortly thereafter, my colleagues and I placed our orders and sat down, waiting to receive our deliciousness. As we discussed the fact that well-made fries are the devil (the tasty, tasty devil), my lunch was handed to me. I squealed in school-girl delight and began making preparations to stuff the molten goodness into my slobbering pie hole. Just as I picked it up and brought it my mouth, though, a white gelatinous glob slid off my sandwich and landed without ceremony into my basket.
I gasped audibly and thought, “wait…surely that wasn’t…it couldn’t be…oh, my holy Lord.” I then gave my “chicken teriyaki” a thorough inspection, and to my horror, found that, yes, it was, indeed, full of…(GASP!)…mayo. I wept and blubbered for the several minutes following, like a middle school girl moments after reading confirmation in Teen Beat that Kevin Jonas had, in fact, gotten married.
Thankfully, likely sensing that I was hanging on by only the narrowest of threads, the manager had a replacement sandwich in my grubby mitts a short few minutes later. The replacement was actually still lacking any of the teriyaki-flavored sauced, but at that point I was just glad it wasn’t polluted with evil condiments.
In the end, my lunch was only slightly disappointing. I’ve been through more challenging things in life than an incorrectly made sandwich. Still, I called it on the random stranger lady, though, since it’s totally the wench’s fault my sandwich got screwed up. So, yeah, next time I’m going across the counter and teaching her the proper way to enjoy a sandwich. And no, this isn’t an example of karma catching up with me. Sure it might look like I got what I deserved for prejudging that lady instantly based on nothing more than the set of her mouth and look in her eyes, but that’s purely coincidental. It really just means I’m an excellent snap judge of character, at least when it comes to people likely to mess up your lunch.