I have come to the conclusion that the humble sandwich needs to be dispatched to the annals of history to join the like of bloodletting, witch burning and powdered wig wearing - a good idea at the time, but let's move on.
As a food, the sandwich is a constant source of disappointment not unlike presenting a teenager a birthday present of an iPad box containing no iPad.
I have admiration though for those who try to package the sandwich as something different. This week, I frequented a sandwich bar where the meagre sandwich had embarked on a union with a sandwich maker and sprinkled with magic dust to create the "Bacon whoopee" (toasted bacon sandwich), the "Chicken whoopee" (toasted chicken sandwich), the "Munchie Brunchie" (toasted BLT) and the "Salmon Rushdie" (untoasted salmon sandwich with no fatwa against it).
There was even the "Humus the Tank Engine with Falafel", which I wanted to buy more out of respect for the creative genius who had thought it up than out of any desire to consume the desiccated carcasses of chickpeas cruelly slaughtered to give me another option for my lunchtime menu.
In my youth, I went to college with a guy called Nigel Flanagan, known for some inexplicable reason as Butch. Nice-ish guy, if you had a high tolerance threshold, but I would not have introduced him to my sister. But the name Butch gave him a certain allure. A level of acceptability that far outweighed my own despite the fact that the man had dubious morals and a cratered face I was convinced had been nibbled by rats.
Above all, Butch was also considerably more adept with the ladies than me, an issue I found extremely annoying.
Butch had cleverly repackaged himself. Turning the humble Nigel into something with more substance and character when it fact the contents were identical - basic and a little unsavoury.
Just like the "Chicken Salsa Whoopie" I had for lunch today. Nothing special, capable of creating a mess and has been repeating on my all afternoon, which was my experience of Nigel during my time at college with him.
The sandwich is the lazy way to eat - appropriate if you are driving a Combine Harvester and need to harvest a field of corn the size of Belgium by sundown but surely we can do better than this.
The sandwich ranks alongside pre-chopped vegetables, pre-washed salad and ready meals in terms of laziness in our eating habits. The natural extension of this is the sale of faeces marketed under the strapline "we've made it, cooked it, eaten it and pooed it out - you don't have to do anything".
So. I implore you - strap on your powdered wig and burn the sandwich. Only then can we truly be cleansed.
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