The Prose and Condiments of the American Sandwich
While sandwiches aren’t something we necessarily associate with instances of violence and crime, recent news blurbs seem to suggest that tempers flair during lunchtime. Additionally, a recent lunchtime crime perpetrated in my own break room has prompted me to look closer at what can only be described as a rash of disturbingly sandwich-centric trespasses.
In December 2008, a Florida man was accused of throwing a sandwich at his girlfriend during an argument. According to the girlfriend, she was preparing the man’s lunch when he picked up the sandwich and hurled it toward her face. The contents of the sandwich were not specified in the news coverage.
A June 18th, 2009 report from the Associated Press tells the seemingly more random story of Roger Hamilton of Oklahoma City, who was beaten and then robbed of his bologna and cheese sandwich as he prepared to spread it with mayonnaise. The attacker delivered a punch to Hamilton’s mouth before running off with his sandwich, and has yet to be found by police. The AP report, though brief, paints a vivid picture of the crime:
Police said Hamilton has a swollen lip and his face was covered in blood. The police report listed the value of the sandwich at 76 cents.
I found Roger Hamilton’s story in a local paper during a lunch break at my place of employment. The short article was featured in a sidebar reserved for offbeat news stories. I cut it out and saved the clipping with the headline “Man attacked in Oklahoma City for bologna sandwich.” Little did I know that I too would find myself at the center of a lunchtime crime–the theft of my wallet and phone from my own lunch bag as it sat minding its own business in the break room one afternoon. Gone were my identification cards, my discount cards, my library cards. A seemingly determined police officer failed to turn up even the slightest clue about the theft.
Two months later, an envelope bearing no return address, adorned only with a name and driver number, arrived bearing my school ID. With it, a note from a truck driver who found my ID in the parking lot of–what else?–a Subway sandwich restaurant in Glens Falls, NY, some twenty miles from where it was taken from my lunch bag, right out from underneath my peanut butter and jelly on 12 grain.
Keep your friends close and your sandwiches closer.
Goodnight and good lunch.