dust-up at Subway
So I walk into my local Subway and I see this girl waiting in line in front of me. An average looking woman but she’s dressed very business-like and she insists on making eyes at me. Believe me, when you’re me you get to know that come-hither look pretty well. So I stand there, doing my best to appear completely oblivious to her flirting. My mind locked and loaded for the task of ordering my sub which lay just ahead.
The girl behind the counter knows her and I can’t help but overhear her ask where her ‘man’ was. Instantly I recognize that the Subway girl was making TWO subs for this lady. If that isn’t foreshadowing I don’t what is.
So almost on cue this sweaty man comes waltzing in and makes a beeline for her. While she looks like she’s ready to present some board of directors with the years final sales numbers he, on the other hand, looks like he earns his living with a mower or trimmer. He is dressed in a sleeveless shirt, which must be one of the new offerings from the Larry the Cable Guy line at Sears, and cut-off shorts. It’s unclear if I actually let out an audible snort at seeing him walk up and kiss the top of her head but I’m sure my face must have said a thousand words… none of which was encouraging to their eventual union.
Anyway… I order and get my sub and I pay. I go to leave. The happy couple is still filling up their beverages at the machine and as I walk by I guess my quick glance at her saying “you poor stupid bitch” must not have been so quick or as subtle as I’d have liked.
Larry, we’ll call him Larry, asks me if I have a problem. What I was going for was a look that said “Although you are clearly a white man I am surprised to find, based on your attire, that you speak English so fluently” but what Larry saw was a look that he understood to be “Yes. I have a problem.”
Understand here I was only looking to buy lunch here. I am a victim of circumstance.
The problem with your typical victim is that they are slow to act. I, however, am not your typical victim. I struck out in the hopes of ending this conflict quickly.
Two things here. The first is… you never really know how the financial decisions you make can impact your life in the strangest of ways. Take for instance the sale that Subway is having on their foot long subs. For only a small amount I could have made my 6″ sub a full 12 inches. I clearly remember wrestling with this decision in the line but decided to save a few dimes because I was clearly not hungry enough to tackle 12 inches. Also as clear, the memory of almost asking for extra meat because Subway is notorious for only putting on a couple razor thin slices of ham on top of giant amounts of bread and as I watched the Subway chick make my sub I saw that this was in fact what was unfolding! The words to tell her to go ahead and upcharge me for some more meat literally hung on my lips before I finally put them back unspoken.
These two financial decisions made a huge impact on the final outcome of me bringing my sub down in a hard swift motion across the bridge of Larry’s nose. 6 inches was clearly not enough in retrospect and I couldn’t help but wonder what additional benefit another few slices of ham would have made to the outcome let alone the full fury of another an extra 6 inches. As it was there was a small explosion of ham, swiss, lettuce and tomato slices and a very startled Larry.
Thinking quickly Larry launched his large soda right into my face.
Well played my yard-working nemesis.
I returned fire but found that I only splashed him with an embarrassing amount of Coke.
Those of you paying attention will note that I earlier mentioned “2 things here” and then went on to describe only one. Well the truth is there was only one but it appeared twice… so I’m only half wrong. (do the math)
In an amazing display of irony the reason that I was able to return fire with only an embarrassingly small amount of liquid was that I had a bottle of Coke. I paid a little more for it instead of pouring it myself from the fountain so it would be less likely to spill in my car should I have to come to a quick stop while driving.
Drink that in for a moment.
I saved money which caused my first strike capability to be halved and then I paid a little extra to make sure my tactical liquid response was inadequate.
As I stood drenched I had to take stock of my situation. While I stood against the counter with only 2 oatmeal raisin cookies left in my bag, Larry still had his girlfriends soda within easy reach and a full cold-war-era-esque supply of snack foods at his back. I was in a bad spot.
“Were you looking at my girl?!” he thundered, a smudge of mayo on his eyebrow and a few drops of Coke clinging to his arms.
Now truth be told I wasn’t. But the thing was, if I said that it would appear to the crowd of onlookers like I was only saying that to wimp out. Perhaps at a Wendy’s or KFC… but not in this sandwich shop Mister!
“I was only looking at her in disbelief. She has the face of a Shetland Pony”.
Now I felt bad. I had brought her into it. Insulted her for really no reason. I had meant to lash out at Larry and instead I had made an innocent woman feel bad.
I actually felt I deserved the second large soda thrown on me and it actually doused the flames of remorse that had begun to burn and turn my cheeks red after such a savage horse-related comment.
The Greek chorus had decided. I was to be the villain in this drama. They began their taunts and they turned as one to Larry with their thumbs all metaphorically pointing down.
I thought for a second about calmly turning around and ordering a replacement sub but thought against it. Lowering my eyes I slowly backed up towards the door. Larry, feeling that he had inflicted enough shame on his opponent, turned to console his Shetland-Pony-faced girlfriend. All of a sudden I knew how the losing ram feels after he’s been out head-butted and he’s forced to slink away down the mountain away from all the sheep.
It was lunchtime and the only thing on the menu was humiliation.
Vowing to never again order 6 inches of anything… well, at least without ordering extra meat… I decided to find another fast food place.
Using the drive-though of course.