Friday, June 29, 2007

An Artist Retires

Yes, my friends, the world is a slightly duller place this morning. One of our great artists has put away his tools and decided to move in a different direction. I know, it wasn't on the news. You didn't hear anything about it on Entertainment Tonight. And that is why I'm bringing this news to you now.

Which artist, you ask? Son20. That's right, Son20 has stepped away from his work.

For the past two years, Son20 has been employed as a Sandwich Artist. What's that, you ask? (You are very smart and ask such good questions!) A Sandwich Artist is what our local Subway sandwich shops call their employees. Not just employees. And certainly not fast food employees. Oh no. They are artists!

Now you may be asking yourself - since you ask so many intelligent questions - where is the art in making a sandwich? Don't you just scoop on a couple of meatballs, lay on a slice of cheese, and call it a meatball grinder?

Heavens, you would be so wrong! Son20 (then a mere Son of 18) spent two days just learning how to slice the bread correctly. Splitting it to the same depth every time without ever cutting all the way through...and doing it with speed. There was the prep work - learning to stack the deli slices and chopped veggies in such a way as to allow for quick and precise access when the demands of sandwich artistry were at their greatest. There was learning to use the oven to toast each sandwich to the desired degree. So many skills to master.

But the night crew stepped it up. Just learning those skills weren't enough to satisfy the title of Sandwich Artist. Oh no. They mastered The Toss. This required them to step away from the bread once it was sliced and flip the deli meats from a distance, having each slice land, in the folded position, in the proper place on the sandwich. Then there was The Squirt. This required them to apply the correct amount of mayo, mustard, or whatever dressing the customer liked while writing their names with the dressing. Longer names meant faster writing and thinner lines...shorter names required a bolder stroke.

It was all the basic talents combined with these extra artistic measures that really elevated them to the level of Sandwich Artists. They were Cirque du Soliel of the sandwich universe. Blue Man Group in Chicken Ranch with Bacon t-shirts. The Beatles of the...oh...enough huh? Okay.

I'm sure the sandwich world won't suffer for too long. While it was Son20's final night, I'm quite certain that hundreds of new Sandwich Artists around the world were working their virgin night shift. And they will learn. But for now, at least, they are doing the sandwich equivalent of paint-by-numbers while Son20 was creating masterpieces.

32 comments:

Jenny! said...

Now everytime I got to Subway and ask for mustard I will thing about the artist "squirting" in my sandwich! Hmmmm, I kind of want Subway now...weird!

Kevin said...

tear :-(

Marie said...

That is very funny! I hope the artist enjoys his retirement... maybe he'll return for an encore sandwich?

We have a Subway right near our house. My husband checked it out when it first opened -- he ordered a sandwich with swiss cheese, and the worker looked at him quizzically. My hub had to tell him that it's the one with the holes! Obviously this particular artist had not had the proper indoctrination.

MaryB said...

There absolutely is an art to making a sandwich. The world's a little darker without Son at the palette (or should I say, plate).

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

It is always a sad day whan an artist gives up his craft. I'm sure he'll move on to bigger and better things though.

Gretchen said...

Is Son20 having a retirement party? Should we lower the flag to 1/2staff? My dtr looooves Subway. I think it's her fave fast food--or at least tied w/Taco Bell. Maybe he could move over to TB and learn the art of making Mexican pizzas. I just want him to be well rounded.

meno said...

I cannot believe i didn't hear about this on the news!

Good luck to Son20 in whatever he arts at next.

Elle said...

I enjoy the art of a good sandwich LOL. Don't tell your son20 though - I like Quiznos much better!

thethinker said...

Two long years of devotion to sandwich artistry. Does he at least get a retirement party for it?

Star said...

I am sure his white latex gloves will be hard to fill.

SzélsőFa said...

The entry did not concluded on which direction this artist will prove his abilities from now on, I wonder...
and also...
do you call the person who carries rectangular advertisements on his back AND front on the streets as a 'sandwichman'? Because here we do.

Beth said...

mmmmmm...I love the SMELL of subway! My daughter worked there as a teenager and every night, when I picked her up and she got in the car,.....she smelled so good! My stomach would growl just smelling her....wait, that really didn't come out right....I didn't mean that the way it sounded....

Jenster said...

There is nothing more moving than a beautifully crafted sandwich! I hope he doesn't completely abandon his skills!

tulipmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tulipmom said...

Oops, sorry about the previous post.

How come I never got my name squirted into my sandwich in my pre-low carb Subway-eating days?

Best of luck to Son20 in his next endeavor.

Rainbow dreams said...

Now I want my name squirted into a sandwich... artistically... is this a widely known phenomenum?
I'm sure bigger and better things await... we don't have subway here..

Em said...

If Son20 knew about my blog, he would greatly appreciate your support!

No, he did not get a retirement party, but they did send him home with enough sandwich fixings to feed the while family. Twice.

And yes Beth, he did smell like fresh meat and produce every time he got in the car. Always made me want a grinder.

As for his future, the summer will be spent working as a classroom aide in a summer education program for kids with special needs. Next fall...who knows?!?

Melody said...

What? No news crews to capture the final sandwich prepared by son20? The shame!!

Dorky Dad said...

So how old does it feel to have a retired son?

I didn't realize that they paid those sandwich artists so well that they could retire after just two years. I would have skipped college ...

Jocelyn said...

I'm pretty sure Son20 will take it to the next level, now that his creativity will have full rein. He may make popcorn, even.

Winston said...

So what's Son20 going to do, move on to something more demanding, like pasta executive or lawn health care director?

CS said...

I stopped at a SUbway on my long drive yesterday and got a veggie sandwich. They could have used alittle trainng from you son - I didn't see a whole lot of artistry going on.

Jill said...

Wow, I had no idea that making sandwiches required so much training. It's a good thing I never worked in the food service industry. I'm not coordinated enough.

Akelamalu said...

I never knew so much went into making a sandwich. Next time I have one I'll treat it with a bit more respect! :)

velvet girl said...

I'm sure that he will treasure his sandwich making skills for the rest of his life. :)

radioactive girl said...

When he was in high school, my husband worked at Subway. He can't even eat there now because he gets tense about them not doing it properly. I hope your son has not been ruined like that too!

Jazz said...

The mind boggles. Subway will never be the same.

Kati said...

Hope y'all have a good 4th of July tomorrow!!!!

Dorky Dad said...

Hey, Em. I've given you a button. Read my site.

tkkerouac said...

Happy JULY 4th!

MileHighDivaCyn said...

You know a sandwich is art when you get a smoked turkey with avocado and alfalfa sprouts done up so proudly you don't even want to bite into it!
Well, only for a moment!

Oh, The Joys said...

How can I go on?