i haven’t had any red meat in a while. but sunday, i had the perfect opportunity.
currently my red meat situation is thus: zach entered the pact with me at sundance, but he fell out a while ago and paid me $100 for the delight of not having to deal with it anymore. however, right as zach failed, chad entered, mostly because i challenged that he couldn’t do it (rather than for the reasons i am doing it, which he found compelling but not quite compelling enough). and since then, in april, chad has been going strong and i have as well.
sunday i decided to get a sandwich. i showered and got ready and drove over to the town and country shopping center at el camino and embarcadero. that’s the thing about california, even the yuppie strip malls sound exotic. i wanted to go to the village cheese house, but it was closed on sundays (dumb!). so i went over to the mayfield bakery & cafe and i went to their bakery section and i asked for sandwiches. jen and i had been before, and they had ‘run out’ of sandwiches in the bakery section and asked us to go sit for a full meal, so i asked them if they still had any sandwiches. the word choice was weird, because the lady there informed me that they served to-go premade sandwiches at the bar in the cafe so i should go over there. i left the bakery section, wondering what she thought about my choice of using the word ‘still’, and went over to the cafe’s bar.
on a sunday, around 1pm, the mayfield cafe’s bar was disappointingly busy
i asked the bartender what sandwiches they had. he told me chicken salad, paused, turned and opened the mini-fridge behind him, peeked into a sandwich, and said “and also turkey”. i thought for a second about how i always eat turkey sandwiches and chicken salad sounded exotic, like where i was, and that i don’t know if i’ve ever really had a chicken salad sandwich, and predictably proclaimed that “i’ll have the chicken salad”.
as i got into my car, i noticed a strange smell, familiar yet unexpected. as i pulled out of the town and country parking lot and on to embarcadero road, i peered in to my sandwich. as i waited for the red light to change so i could turn on to el camino, i realized that yes, those were giant chunks of bacon, thickly cut, on my chicken salad sandwich.
the thoughts that went through my mind are as follows (roughly): “fuck! maybe it’s turkey. i’m in california, why would they give bacon without telling you? wait, this is clearly regular bacon. it smells too good. no way its turkey. ok, no one is home. no one knows what i’m eating. i could just get away with this. no, that is not right. ok well i’m not going back to change it and i’m not going to waste this $8. well, wasting $8 is way better than wasting $100. maybe i can pick out the bacon? cmon, picking out bacon, what have you turned into? ok, what’s the right thing to do here. pick out the bacon. just eat it. go get a burrito no that gave you really bad heartburn when you did that yesterday you idiot. ok pick out the bacon. ok just eat it no one will ever know”
so i get home, cursing to myself that i bothered to ask what kind of cheese was peeking out (brie) when i got the sandwich but didn’t bother to explore further for bacon. and wondering if i could really deal with not telling chad that i had broken the diet, or even with telling chad and breaking the diet and paying him $100. and i got in my kitchen and i opened up the sandwich and looked at the slice of bacon, almost whole, staring back at me. and i thought
“i don’t really even want to eat this bacon enough for the trouble”
and i picked out the bacon. and i put it in a trash bag. and then i ate a middling chicken salad sandwich, or at least a sandwich that i hope was middling because otherwise chicken salad might really, really suck.