Thursday, September 21, 2006

Something Fishy

You need to know two things about me:

1. It took me a LONG time to psych myself up enough to get a tuna sub at Subway. To some that may sound like an unappealing sub to begin with, but tuna's almost the only seafood that I'll eat (in addition to fish-and-chips style fish with plenty of tartar sauce). Still, the point is that it took a great deal of self-talk and a bucketload of faith for me to trust that the tuna in that (slightly creepy) table would be suitable for consumption. So far I haven't died. Or broken my 20-year record for vomitlessness.

2. I'm notoriously easy-going and seldom speak up even when I should. When I was a gardener, I ate many, many, many sandwiches with tomatoes in them even though I loathe tomatoes. Why? I just didn't want to make the lovely woman who was making the aforementioned sandwiches feel bad.

That said, I reached a pivotal point (important to today's tale) a few days back when I stopped at ye olde Subway for my tuna sub. I approached that little glass-enclosed counter and saw it. What I didn't want to see. The tuna scoop resting on the lid of the tuna tub. Sitting there caked in tuna. Not caked in pleasant "Mmm. Doesn't that look tuna-rifically tasty" tuna, but in "Sweet Mother, I'd forgotten that mayonnaise turns into that creepy amber glass-like substance when left out and the tuna mixed in just makes it all the more unappealing" tuna that has been aged beyond appropriate.

I couldn't do it. I couldn't eat a sub which had come into contact with that. Besides, shouldn't there be some sort of submarine sandwich protocol to prevent that from ever happening?

So I did what I had to. I said, "Excuse me. I don't want to be a pain, but could you please wash that scoop before you use it?" The Sandwich Artist (though it's been some time, to be honest, since I had a sandwich there that resembled in any way a work of art) was very pleasant about it and even replaced the scoop entirely with a sparkling clean one. I felt good about the situation and about my choice to speak up in the name of my immune system.

Then today, I returned after a long day at work, knowing that I didn't have the patience to make anything. A sub it would be.

And there it was. The creepy scoop, just as before. Ack.

Cooperative Subway Worker was in back. I had Alternate Girl.

Having had such a positive and productive experience last time, I made my request again. Unlike C.S.W. (who was in back), A.G. (who was serving me) didn't seem to appreciate my request. She went and gave it a quick wash and my (perhaps irrational) faith came back into play. It appeared clean, but the scoop didn't actually travel in back to the official dish washing area, just to the up front sink. For the rest of my journey down the line ("Lettuce, cucumbers, and pickles, please. Just one little squooge of mayo and some salt and pepper.") A.G. seemed unwilling to converse with me more than absolutely necessary, as if my request somehow personally affronted her.

If that little window counter wasn't there, would she have done my sandwich harm? That's always my concern when making even the slightest stink when it comes to food. If they think you're being petty (though in no way do I think asking for non-yack utensils to be used is petty), will they take it out on you in secret and horrible ways? Will they spit on it or, worse, immerd* it in the unspeakable?

I need to grocery shop more often. Of course, as we already know, grocery shopping has proven to have its own risks.

Incidentally, I'm doing laundry. In my own home. Woohoo!


* immerd (im-MURD): to cover in dung, as in "Do wee..see some eminent professor..immerd himselfe in the dung of worldly wickednesse.." (spake by William Ames in 1652).

1 comment:

John said...

I don't think that's neurotic at all. Who wants their sandwich innards glopped on a bun with a crusty tuna scoop?? That scoop should be rinsed clean after every use imo. That reminds me of the little rinsing contraptions they have at buffet restaurants by their self-serve ice-cream freezers. Even that gives me the heebs because you've got people's dirty hands all over the scoops being tossed in this little standing-water fountain dealie, like that's even close to being sanitary.
And you truly are a polite soul... I wouldn't eat tomatoes on a sandwich if it was served by the last little old lady on earth.