Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Urban Food Myth

Yesterday was a looong day. Up and ready for a meeting at 8 AM, didn't leave my office till about 10 PM. I thought those days were behind me once I finished grad school, but apparently not.

Anyway, I'm walking down Euclid, navigating the orange barrels and safety tape. A quick stop in to the House of Blues to get a ticket for the upcoming B-52s show. I'm not quite sure what that says about me, but whatever -- try and listen to that music without smiling and doing a little desk chair dancing - I dare you.

Then, as I approached Tower City, to catch the rapid, I realized that the roar of my stomach was drowning out the sound of passing busses. I quickly took inventory of the available dining options in Ohio City, my destination, and realized that nothing I wanted would be open. As I stood on the corner, I realized that right behind me was Jake's. I've been to Jake's once or twice before and it was always the same, way too much meat, usually a little too dry for my taste, kind of bland, but filling (definitely filling).

Jake's was open, and I didn't think the growing crowd of panhandlers was gonna give me any better advice, so I popped in and ordered a hot pastrami, corned beef, and swiss sandwich. As the dude was making it, I asked that he put a little mayo and mustard on it. At first he looked at me as if I was crazy. I just figured it was silent commentary on my physique. Then he stopped making it, looking distressed, and said "Are you sure you want me to put mustard and mayonnaise on this sandwich? I said, not ashamed, "yes."

His reply - "And you want me to make it hot?"

"Yes."

He resumed work, then stopped again, and this time called me over for a more private conference. He said, "Man, I don't like putting mayonnaise in the microwave."

My first inclination was to remind him it didn't matter to me what he liked, in the most polite way possible, as I ordered the sandwich, I paid for the sandwich, I was the one planning to eat the sandwich, and I was getting tired of waiting.

But before I get a chance, he continues, saying his grandmother taught him that heating up mayonnaise in the microwave was deadly. Sort of like eating food out of a can with a metal spoon, he added.

I went blank. I literally could not think of anything to say to that. Half my brain started furtively attempting to see if there was any reason why microwaved mayo would be dangerous and how I never heard of it before, the other half searched for ways to tell him that his grandmother was insane.

I settled on, "I'll take the risk."

He takes a long, slow look at me, probably half his brain deducing if it would be appropriate to refuse my request on moral grounds, the other half probably thinking this is the last time he or any other person would ever see me, for once I consumed microwaved mayonnaise, I was done for.

Eventually I got the sandwich, caught the train, went home, and ate it.

Unless I'm writing this blog in heaven, I don't think it killed me.

Maybe it is a time delay thing.

1 comment:

Christine said...

That. Was Priceless.