Sunday, March 22, 2009

A POP CULTURE MOMENT - The “Sandwich Ordering Scene “

No, I’m talking about Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces” but that was a very good guess. Actually, I’m referring to my local Subway shop. I like to drop in there once or twice a year, when I feel like having a half-decent lunch or dinner to go, or when I feel like messing with some heads. And I always order the same thing – a BLT on brown. Now, if you haven’t ordered from a Subway shop in a while and need a refresher, the drill goes like this:

· They ask you what you want, and you tell them the basic order.
· They slice the bread make it up as you watch. So far so good.
· They ask what else you want on it. “What else” could be anything from the tubs of add-ons they have behind the glass. Olives, onions, pickles, chilies, several kinds of cheese…I’m sure I’m leaving some out; I never really look at them because I never add-on any of them.
· You tell them what kinds of “what else” you want, and then they wrap the whole thing up for you.
· You pay, leave, eat. What could be simpler, right? Well, maybe it’s simple for everyone else, with any other kind of sandwich, but not for me. Here are two versions of a slightly different “sandwich ordering scene” starring me, and a supporting cast of various Subway “Sandwich Artists” –

SA: What can I get you?
Me: I’ll have a small BLT on brown.
SA: What else would you like on it?
Me: Nothing, just a plain BLT thanks.
SA: (starts to wrap up the bacon on the bare bread)
Me: Wait, you forgot the lettuce and tomato!
SA: You said you didn’t want anything else.
Me: Well, yes, I do want the Lettuce and Tomato.
SA: (exasperated look, muttering) That’s what I asked…

Variation on the above:

SA: Would you like anything else on it?
Me: No, just a plain BLT thanks.
SA: (sweetly) Nothing, not even lettuce and tomato?
Me: Well, yes, I want the L and the T…
SA: ?

I’m telling you, I can barely pay at the till with a straight face. Then, in the parking lot, I want to stand and shout to the sky, “Doesn’t any body know what a B(acon) L(ettuce) and T(omato) sandwich is anymore!!??” But I’m afraid there would be only an existential silence. Or maybe the clouds would part and a big booming voice would deliver another classic movie line – “What we got here is failure to communicate!” (see tags)

Here, for a refresher of another kind, is the original “sandwich ordering scene” from Nicholson’s 1970 counter-culture anti-hero classic, “Five Easy Pieces.”

Video from YT member weezyrokk
Photo from


Poetikat said...

I haven't seen this film, BUT now I want to. It is exasperating. Do you know how hard it is at Tim Horton's to get a lightly toasted, multigrain bagel with light strawberry cream cheese (easy on the cheese)? IMPOSSIBLE!!!!

I love "Cool Hand Luke"!


AphotoAday said...

Oh brother... A guy can't get toast around here...
And such a young Jack too...

Makes perfect sense to me -- order a toasted BLT, hold the BLT and you've got toast...

Your BLT story reminds me of going into our local semi-supermarket only to find that the fellow ringing me up didn't know what a carrot was.   I had to spell it for him so he could find it on his code chart.

Anonymous said...

Wheres the camera when you need one. I think yours is better then the clip