Provolone cheese, hot peppers and brown mustard on a bulky roll, please
A slovenly truck driver strolled into the deli, as was his usual on Thursdays, around 12:30pm. Grim and dignified, he took his place at the back of a line to the lunch counter. The portly gentleman working the slicer, confabulating the sandwiches, generating conversation with the customers, spotted the blue step van outside the shop. His first thought was, "I'm going to duck out back and let Bezo take over. Then I can grab a taxi to Logan, pick up a change of clothes and luggage and set out for the Caribbean."
Lenny (his name was not Lenny at all, but rather, Ignatius. He borrowed Lenny from his maternal uncle, a priest at St. Agatha's.) sighed, resigned to his fate to eventually serve this bristly and sometimes scary customer. Poor Bezo was scared shitless of him, and made the sign of the cross every time he was mentioned. The last time he'd asked his slack-jawed brother-in-law to serve the blue step van driver, he'd noisily soiled himself and ran in hilarious fashion to the john.
OK, he steeled himself for the inevitable, wishing against hope that this were any day but Thursday, knowing the futility of wishing, hoping, longing, existing, recounting, pretty much anything... he steeled and titaniumed himself, girded his loins, took up legs, crossed the Delaware... in fact, his demeanor would have made General George Patton proud, seeing this naturalized citizen son of immigrants of unspecified ethnic origins...
The line trickled forward, carrying it's payload of terror in the form of a demon. His fellow passengers were oblivious of the potential danger they faced, were the driver to become displeased. There were terrible rumors, stories about an automobile repair shop. Maniacal shrieking and tearing sounds, drifting into the late nights, every time a blue step van parked in the owner's spot.
Today, the truck driver was wearing a tie-dyed jeans, a brown spinnet jacket with ivory collar and gibbous noukemole, purple cowboy hat and matching boots, a gas mask and pearl earrings from Aldo's. He raised an eyebrow, jerked a thumb in the direction of the cheeses in the cold case and muttered in his hoarse crackling voice, "Provolone."
Lenny replied, haltingly, "On a bulky?", to which the demon-spawned raised his thumb, then croaked back, "Brown mustard and hots". The grimacing, grunting deli owner and billboard enthusiast deftly assembled a hulking mass of dairy product, bread, seasoning and pickled hot pepperocinis into the masterwork of the day. The sandwich wrapped, no leaking contents showing in the deli wrapping, the most evil of customers was satisfied, paid and walked out to his waiting truck, his familiar in this, the plane of human existence.
|The cheese sandwich series|