12 inches that changed my life
Here’s an interesting fact; I was a picky eater. Always had been. Since I was a little kid. Pizza? Plain. Sandwich bread? Wonder Bread. Condiments? Mayonnaise… but not too much. Mustard? Are you kidding me? You might as well have spread the paste of a 100 habanero peppers on my sandwich. I was that kid… picking shit out of his hamburger in public, not eating the dinner served at a friend’s house, you get the picture. Fussy would not be overstating it.
Then one night while driving through New Jersey I went crazy. It had been a long day and an even longer night and I wasn’t thinking right. I was starving and I stopped at a 7-11 to buy my usual Bear Claw and Strawberry Crush soda when without thinking I grabbed an Italian sub out of the refrigerated section. I didn’t even hesitate, just scooped it up and walked to the checkout. To this day I have no idea whatever possessed me to do it. This thing had the works. It would take me 20 minutes just to fish all the extra stuff out of it. I couldn’t even be sure when this sub was made… it had already started to get that slimy coating on it.
Then what do I do? I start the car… I pull away and casually unwrap my hoagie. Then what do I do? I stick the fucking thing in my mouth and bite down! Looking back even I find it hard to believe. Immediately the taste of onions and sweet peppers take turns holding down and raping my taste buds. Really. As my Ford Taurus roared through the inky blackness of the Jersey night I grew lightheaded as wave after wave of gustatory sensations broke like waves on my palate. Then Mr. Pickle showed up at the party. This was the first time my virgin mouth had ever had a pickle in it. My mushroom-shaped fungiform papillae threatened to have me gagging but surprisingly pickle joined the chemosensor fracas without incident. After the appropriate mastication it was the big moment. Would I swallow?
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes! When I tell you that I ate the fuck out of this sub I ate the fuck out of it. At one point I had almost the whole thing in my mouth… and this was a 12″ hoagie mind you. Being a strictly “ham & cheese” guy up to that point I had meats in my mouth I’d never dreamed of. They assailed my tongue like army ants on a caterpillar. It was one of the greatest culinary nights of my life. I was forever changed. Reborn. A phoenix rising from the ashes of the former sulcus terminalis of my tongue.
Needless to say, I now have sausage on my pizza and it’s not uncommon to see me holding a sandwich with multi-grain bread. Bon appetite and carpe diam I say! What a truly inspiring story if I say so myself … although I still find mustard is not to be trusted.