Square-cut or Diagonal?

I was a brown-bagger for 35 or 40 years. I never was much interested in networking or hanging out with a bunch of people. I generally spent my lunch periods reading trade magazines or reading a book I had brought from home. Pat worked, too, so to help out, I often fixed my own lunch. Quick and easy was my style. Two slices of bread, mayo on one and mustard on the other, a slice of lunch meat completed the sandwich, a bag of carrot sticks or celery, some potato chips, and one of those little cans of juice. Off to work we go.

Pat and I frequently have sandwiches for lunch now. We both enjoy them. There are not that many calories in them, they are easy to prepare, it doesn’t mess up the kitchen too much, and you can prepare a lunch and set it up on the patio table in minutes.

Pat makes great sandwiches, much better than mine. She uses 1 or 2 kinds of lunch meat, 1 or 2 kinds of cheese, mayo, hot mustard, lettuce and tomato or avocado if she has them, and puts it all between slices of that whole grain bread that has the nuts in it. Oh, yeah!

The other day, we were having our lunch on the patio. The sky was blue and had those little white puffy clouds and the temperature was in the high 70’s. What a day! As I bit into my sandwich I thought, “Boy, this is even better than usual!” I asked Pat what she had put in the sandwich to make it so different. She told me she had used her normal ingredients and hadn’t added anything extra. I went ahead and ate my sandwich and enjoyed it immensely but I couldn’t help wondering why it tasted so special. It looked the same as always except rather than being square cut, she had cut it in half diagonally. Being 78 years old and retired and having more idle time than brains, I can contemplate these mysteries of life. I tried to come up with the answer but didn’t realize until the next day what made this sandwich so special.

I grew up in a little town of 5,000 people. Strangely enough, we had two drug stores on the main drag and they were only about 3 doors apart. Cooper Drugs, owned by John Cooper, was a Rexall affiliate. Drain’s Drugs, owned by Jack Drain, was affiliated with Walgreen. Both stores had soda fountains and a couple of booths in the back. Once in a while, when we were grade school kids, for a special treat our Mom would take us to one of the drug stores for lunch. I usually had a sandwich and a cherry Coke or a cherry phosphate. The sandwiches were always delicious. My favorites were egg salad and egg and olive. The sandwiches were toasted and another of the things that made them so memorable was that they were always cut in half diagonally! Mom never did that at home. Only those “special” sandwiches at the drug store were cut in half diagonally. All of these memories came to mind as I thought about the fantastic sandwich that Pat had put together for us.

What does it all mean? Who knows?

Dave Thomas
November 12, 2014


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