Tuesday 20 March 2007

I hope I really confused a man in a sandwich shop today.

Twice, separated by a couple of hours, I went into his baguette boutique (and that’s not empty alliteration, it’s actually called the Croissanterie and thus, if you’re after a sandwich, only sells baguettes [and, somewhat oddly, ciabatta]) and asked for the same sandwich, a Swiss cheese and salad baguette. Unfortunately, in spite of having received specific instructions on the first occasion, I managed both times to forget to ask for mayonnaise which, it would appear, the overly literal staff of this particular food-making outlet assume that, if you do not explicitly specify a desire for, you do not want.

I am not some kind of Swiss cheese without mayonnaise baguette fiend, though. The first one was bought for a friend who was so busy writing up her project that she didn’t have time to buy lunch (I only write this ’blog to demonstrate what a selfless philanthropist I am to those who might stumble upon this page by Googling “swiss cheese and mayonnaise baguette” or something. That is the demographic I have chosen to indoctrinate with tales of my boundless charity), and it was only the second baguette which was for myself because I didn’t have the time or the inclination to make tea.

But I hope that the man in the shop thinks I am some kind of Swiss cheese baguette fiend. Perhaps I had an inexplicable one-day binge on this neither addictive nor especially healthy foodstuff, or perhaps I had tattooed “get a Swiss cheese and salad baguette” on my arm in an attempt to overcome my short-term memory loss but failed to tattoo any indication of my success beneath it, and thus returned for a second time, like that man in Memento might were it a film focussed more on his eating habits than a dark tale of murder and distrust. Having no short-term memory would certainly explain why I forgot the mayo on both occasions (though presumably the man in the shop wasn’t to know that. If he did because he was psychic he would presumably not have been very confused by this at all).

Even better, I hope that the man was struck by an awesome sense of déjà vu whose uncontrollable force turned him to religion, perhaps with the belief that I am some kind of time-travelling god. That would be better than a thousand idiot Googling followers. Imagine the power if I were the Messiah to the man in the sandwich shop. Never again would I have to pay for lunch (I’m pretty sure that’s one of the benefits of being a saviour), or breakfast or dinner if I became a baguette fiend. And he probably gets a pretty good throughput of customers to whom he can chat and thus proselytise. Even if only one in 100 were converted to my/his religion, it wouldn’t be long before I amassed a pretty good following who, were I to sell out and trade my One True Faith for a shameless money-making pay-to-join cult, could probably support me quite nicely into my dotage.

To be honest, he probably didn’t notice.


  1. If you have longer hair and the beard at the moment, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t notice. He may well have recognised a student and assumed that they were doing a research project based around his consistency in sandwich-production methods, hence the lack of mayonnaise both times.

    Don’t try the trick with Benny’s. They may think you’re an undercover cop, shoot your kneecaps off, and tie you up in the basement in a room full of designer drug-addicts.

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