Saturday, June 6, 2009
Great Outdoors ~ Addison, Texas
The ritual was always the same. I'd get a double #1 (Ham, Salami), or a double #3 (Turkey Pastrami) and he'd get a single #6 or #12 (the ones with the most variety of meats). Always on white. Then it was time for the glorious "Works". As one African American worker said to me with a certain ghetto street tone "THAT'S WHAT MAKES THE SANDWICH!!". Incidentally the workers, over the years, have been uniformly great - many had worked there for over a decade (rare for fast food). So back to the Works. I'd get it without tomatoes. On queue, Dad would automatically say "give me his tomatoes" and snicker-laugh unconsciously. I would dress it with mustard (regular), and he would always say a "big blob of mayonnaise". We'd each get a pickle spear (15 cents!). I'd usually go a chocolate chip cookie. He'd get Diet Pepsi and I'd choose a Mountain Dew.
Then the games would begin. Dad would try to wolf down his sandwich as fast as he possibly could stuff into his mouth. I'm no slow eater either, though I would put down the sandwich and chew the food at least. Why did he do this? So he could smoke, that's why. Back in the days when you could still smoke indoors at restaurants. His goal was to get in as many cancer sticks as possible before I would say "it's cold, let's go". See, since the Great Outdoors is a deli with meats, the place is always kept at a frigid temperature. In the winter, we'd be dressed appropriately, but in the summer... are you kidding me? Plus he'd just assume spend all day there smoking ciggy's and talking about whatever, and I'd rather actually have a life and maybe see a friend, or do something else other than talk about the military ex-officers club. Or his sales figures. Or my low grades.... So while sitting there enjoying my sandwich, he'd already reached into his shirt front pocket and grabbed a cigarette. And he'd puff away on it and instinctively reach for another one. And another. And another... so I had to time it perfectly. Just as he put one out, and began reaching for another, I'd say "let's go, it's cold!". "Already?" he'd plea. "Dad!" "Ok..." he'd acquiesce.
Very sadly, it's not something we can do anymore. Dad passed away near the end of 2003 at the too young age of 68.
This post is dedicated to my father, who I miss dearly. And Dad, I look forward to sharing a double #1 with you in heaven.