Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Sandwich

It was a Saturday afternoon, the year was 1977.  My brother Eric and I were in the kitchen whipping up a couple of baloney and cheese sandwiches for our lunch.  Mom was at work, and Dad was in the cellar working on something.  Our youngest brother Bobby was lying on the couch, recovering from the common cold.

"Dad!  Can I have lunch?" Bobby yelled.  It was a small house.  Voices carried, even down to the cellar.

Dad called up, "Are you guys in the kitchen?"

"Yeah!" I hollered back.

"Make Bobby a sandwich, would ya?"

There's no way to sugar-coat this.  At the age of seven, our brother Bobby was a little shit.  Being the youngest, he took a lot of crap from me and Eric, but he dished it out pretty well too.  And now, with the support of our father, he had us doing his bidding.  He was more than eager to take advantage of the situation.

"You heard him,  slave boys.  Make my lunch."

Eric and I looked at each other.  "I'm not making it, not if he's gonna be a jerk," said Eric.

"Don't look at me, I'm not making that little twerp a sandwich."

"And hurry up about it!"  Bobby ordered.

Eric slammed his green army hat to the floor, and stomped over to the top of the cellar stairs.  "Dad, Bobby's being a jerk!  Do we really have to make his lunch?"

"Just do it, please!" Dad replied.

"Yeah, slave boys," said Bobby.  "Just DO it!"

Eric came back to the kitchen.  "This sucks."

By this point, though, a thought had occurred to me.  Dad didn't exactly say what KIND of sandwich to make for our smart-ass little brother.  "So, Eric," I said.  "Just what kind of sandwich do you think Bobby would like?"

"I don't care, baloney?"

"Okay, anything else you want to add?"

Eric's eyes narrowed, and a smirk crawled across his face.  "Uh, yeah, I think he might like some peanut butter on it, too."

I spread a thin layer of Skippy on the one slice of bread.  "What next?"

"Oh, I don't know," said Eric.  "Maybe some mustard?"

Out came the Heinz Spicy Brown.  We took a quick inventory of the refrigerator.  Catsup.  Horseradish.  American cheese.  Grape jelly.  Hey, with a name like Smucker's . . .

By the time we finished, Bobby's sandwich was loaded up pretty good.  We went extra heavy on the horseradish around the edges of the bread, so that first (and probably only) bite was going to be a doozy.  Then we used lettuce leaves and a couple extra slices of baloney to make the sandwich look "normal".  We put it on a paper plate, garnished it with some Lay's potato chips, and delivered it to our sickly brother.

"About time, slave boys.  Now get me a Dr. Pepper."

"Anything you say, your majesty," I answered, stifling a chuckle.

Eric and I went back into the kitchen and waited.

"AAAAGH!  What is this?!?  This is DISGUSTING!"  Ah, the joys of horseradish.  "DAAAAAAD!"

Our father thundered up the cellar steps.  "What's going on?" he asked.

"They made me a gross sandwich!"

We were still giggling when Dad confronted us in the kitchen.  "What did you guys put on his sandwich?"

"Actually, Dad," said Eric, "it would be easier to tell you what we DIDN'T put on his sandwich.  Milk."

We knew we were in the clear when Dad cracked a smile.  "Okay, okay, maybe he asked for it.  Can you guys make him a baloney-and-cheese-and-nothing-else sandwich now?"

"No bread?" I asked.

"Uh, yeah, bread too."

So we did.  You've never seen a kid eat a baloney and cheese sandwich more carefully.


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SherilinR said...

that twerp totally had it coming. i'm glad your dad didn't get mad. bobby sounds like a meatheaded pipsqueak.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

@Sherilin: He's actually grown into a pretty cool guy. But we had our moments as kids, for sure.

Eva Gallant said...

That is too funny and sounds like something my kids would have done!

Suldog said...

Love this story. Not only is it a riot, it also encapsulates every reason I have for being thankful that I'm an only child.

Fred said...

Excellent life lesson. Never mess with people who handle your food.

So. Cal. Gal said...

I'm sooooo glad I never forced my older brothers into making me a sandwich. I probably wouldn't be alive today.

Quirkyloon said...

As the mother of two boys who habitually emotionally torture each other, I appreciated this story.

It was a hoot.


Jonah Gibson said...

I would have gotten a whipping for a stunt like this. Your dad sounds way cool.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

@Jonah: My dad IS cool, and he always had a very keen sense of "ah, he had it coming." It applied to all of us, believe me.

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

My ol' man woulda whupped all of us, then promptly forgot about it

notactuallygod said...

Yer damn lucky yer dad wasn't one of those "we don't waste food around here... starving in China... dying in Africa..." parents. Had that been the case you all might have been sharing that clusterfuck on bread for lunch!

Bella said...

he asked for it! we used to play mean tricks on our younger siblings, too, like dirt cookies with M&Ms...

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