We have all heard the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” but they always seem to forget the last and most important part of that phrase... “but the sandwich conquers all.
Since the beginning of time food has been used as a form of currency and or barter, things are no different today.
From what I remember about my days in elementary school is this, come lunch time whoever had the most fruit rollups, gushers, sodalicious, chips, chocolate and whatever other nutritious treats our moms had packed for us, won.
The moms who were packing those lunches might as well have handed over their visa platinum card, because whoever the kid was with all those treats could buy anything and I mean anything; black market hall passes, bathroom passes, firecrackers, keys to the confiscated goods locker.. I remember seeing a kid hurting so bad for a fruit rollup that he traded away his asthma inhaler, he quickly regretted that trade when the excitement of the fruit rollup gave him an asthma attack.
To protect him from his mother I won’t use my friend’s full name so we will call him J. Akman.... no no no that’s too obvious we will call him Jared A. Yes that will do.
Jared and I attended college together, he was one of the lucky guys who’s mother still loved him enough to pack a lunch for him, he always had beautiful looking sandwiches.. Corned beef on rye...pastrami.. turkey on Chala buns and the baking don’t even get me started on the baking. But there was something different about Jared, come lunch time Jared always had an eye for my ham and cheese on white bread, I knew he wanted it and he wanted it bad. So one day I went for it... I said straight up.
(H) Hey Akman i see you eyeing up my Ham and cheese every day let’s make a deal already, My ham and cheese for your corned beef on rye AND your cinnamon cookies.
(Thinking back I must have been out of my mind to try that kind of dirty pool, but I was young and foolish back then and apparently so was he)
The whole lunchroom went silent.... no one expected that today was the day the lunch room would turn into an old fashioned elementary school Mexican standoff.... Well it did but in a small smelly basement college cafeteria.
(J) Well Steek, It looks like it’s been a while since your last square meal and I’m feel generous today. Lets do this thing you son of a gun.
We were both treated like kings for the rest of our lunch break, Some say they still talk about our big trade in the halls of Red river college...others say they don’t. All I know is I later asked Jared what he thought of the sandwich. To which he replied... “It made me feel cheap... and I liked it”
We both came away winners that day, Jared had a cheap thrill and I promptly dropped out of school and bought a deli that served corned beef on rye.
But the real moral of the story is this, mothers don’t deprive your children of that ”Visa Platinum card” that can buy endless elementary happiness, these days you don’t need all those sweet treats of my yester year all you need is Myers deli. We don’t cheat on the meat.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Jackie Akman for her wonderful culinary skills.