They still ate their sandwiches.

When I’m feeling down I keep a few funny moments in my brain on reserve. Funny moments from the past that make me crack a smile no matter how down I’m feeling. For example, there’s the time my brother told my niece, his daughter, to go take a poop, because she was passing gas at the dinner table. Yes. It might not be our family’s proudest, or classiest moment, but you have to admit… you didn’t see that coming, and, though it may be immature, fart jokes are funny. I bet, if you were feeling down, you cracked a smile just now. You’re welcome.

Here’s another funny moment, from my past, that I keep on reserve.

The year was 2004. I was seventeen, and working part-time, after school at a Subway. After 4 p.m. only two people were needed to finish the night, and close up shop at 9 p.m. My coworker, Zac, and I were closing this night.

A few hours go by, and the store is quiet. We catch up on all of our work; dishes, cleaning routines, preparation for tomorrow morning. We decide that, as customers do come in, we’ll just take turns making their sandwiches. So, we sat around, and talked about those things teenagers talk about; crushes, bands, and school.

A couple walks in, and it’s my turn, so I wash my hands, and get ready to take the customers’ order. I put my gloves on, say my “Hi, welcome to Subway…” piece, and begin to take the orders. Now, I had been at Subway for nearly a year now, and I thought I was an expert. I was even trained to cut bread the “old” way with the piece of bread coming off the top before they changed it to the lazy way, where you just slice the bread open from the side.

So, thinking I’m hot stuff in my Subway apron, I expertly grab the foot long wheat bread from the cabinet, and proceed to slice it the new, lazy way, apparently without even looking. Red blood stains the bread. Weird. The bread is bleeding? Wait a second… Ever notice how sometimes the pain doesn’t come until your brain realizes that you were actually hurt? Alas, while slicing through the bread, I accidentally sliced through my hand too! Ouch! There it is!

You know, when you risk your life everyday, playing with knives to make people sandwiches, accidents are bound to happen. When they do, you just do the best you can. The customers could see that I had cut myself, so I just apologized to them, went in back, and asked Zac to take their order while I tended to my wound. He did. He washes his hands, restarts their order, adds the meat and cheese, and proceeds to the veggie area. Everything is going great, until…

His nose twitches. Twitch. Twitch. He turns his head to wipe his itching nose on his sleeve, but to no avail. Twitch. He’s making that face that people make when they have to (twitch) sneeze, and it just won’t come, but it’s sooo close! Once again, when life happens, and you’re on the job, you just do the best you can. As I’m watching I see Zac put his hand up, turn away from the food, (in my direction) say, “Excuse me,” and, “ACHOO!” Ah, relief. He sneezes so dramatically that he’s actually bent over, and all is well… but, oh no, no it’s not.

With Zac facing me I can see that something is hanging down from his nose. Ew! His head lifts slightly, and his eyes meet mine. In the split second our eyes meet I can tell that he has absolutely no idea what to do.

So, he does what any sixteen year old boy would do, obviously. After taking a millisecond to sort through all of the options in his head he decides to literally yell, “SNOT” and runs to the back to get a tissue!

Before I can even say a word to him, he looks me straight in the eye and starts repeating, “Mariel, I’m not going back out there.”

“Zac, I’m still bleeding!” I retort.

“Mariel, I’m not going back out there.” he pleas.

“Zac, I’m bleeding!”

“Mariel, I’m not going back out there.” Over, and over again. This intellectual conversation lasted for at least a minute.

“Oh my God.” With a roll of my eyes I finally suck it up. After all, the show must go on.

I wash my hands, quickly put a band-aid on, follow up with three pairs of gloves, and make the customers new sandwiches, this time without a hitch.

Maybe it was one of those moments that you “had to be there” for, or maybe you laughed right alongside me as I shared this piece. Either way, I hope it made you smile, because retelling it makes me literally laugh out loud.


4 thoughts on “They still ate their sandwiches.

    1. They must have been hungry! Although we did the best we could, I don’t know if I would’ve eaten my sandwich if I was standing in their shoes. There were just too many signs.


  1. Hilarious. I laughed out loud while reading it. I can relate (I also worked food service), but I’m not sure I have a story that could top that moment. Your title is such a perfect fit. Thank you for sharing!


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