Discover more from A State of Wonder
The Time I Was Red-Pilled on Cold Cuts
And How I Quit Them, Cold Turkey
Most sane people like pizza, though some prefer burgers. Of course, those are both well and dandy. But from my earliest years, assorted subs had been a top-tier choice for me. When I was just a wee lad, I remember my dad bringing home supper from Mr. Submarine (that’s what Mr. Sub was called back then), and I instantly became convinced that those footlong sandwiches were the pinnacle of culinary art. I firmly clung to those convictions into my late-teenaged years. In fact, it would take me quite a long time to learn that not everyone shared in my persuasion.
For context, I had considered those sandwiches in such high regard that I once paid a chef the high compliment that his famous Egyptian Shawarma wraps were essentially the Mr. Sub of Africa. By his changed countenance, I could see that he was not impressed, and those around me immediately went into damage control. If only he had known my heart, he would have understood that my comment was meant as a sincere tip-of-the-hat.
It was in that vein that the young me could not understand how the Subway chain had risen to such preeminence in the sandwich industry. Sure they had Jared, and they called their employees “sandwich artists” but they always seemed like a cheap foreign imposter. Apparently I was not alone. My uncle once scolded some unruly kids by calling them “generation Subway.” That resonated with me. But I digress on the comparison. Perhaps it is enough for me to summarize my thoughts on the matter clinically. Mr. Sub > Subway. That’s it. If your Canadian, and over thirty, you hopefully know this.
That being said, I was a little late in applying that same clinical approach to the assorted meats themselves. If I was to have been asked what cold cuts were made of, I probably would have replied by saying something vague like pork and beef of course, as was my casual (technically accurate) assumption with no regard for processing. For whatever reason, the details on how those luncheon style meats were processed had evaded my attention. Teenaged me just wasn’t mentally there yet. Ignorance is bliss, they say.
But it was one fateful afternoon when I walked into a newly opened Mr. Sub on the other side of town, that my perspective would be forever altered.
After an ordinary greeting, I placed my ordinary order. That was when the woman behind the counter informed me that they were unfortunately all out of “triangle meat”. I instinctively knew the cuts she was talking about, but the obscured name sent an alarm bell off in my brain. Triangle meat? I think I replied. Sorry, but what is the ‘triangle meat’ made of?
That was it. I had broken the seal of ignorance and had reached out for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was no going back. And with as much surety that one could expect from behind the Mr. Sub counter, the woman simply shrugged her shoulders and replied “I don’t know… triangles I guess.”
At that answer I suddenly decided that I wasn’t hungry, and politely declined any offered alternatives. That’s okay, I think I said. I’ll just come back another time. But that was a lie. My worldview had been rocked and suddenly I couldn’t enjoy an assorted sub made anywhere. It was over. I had been red-pilled. You could say that I quit assorted subs cold turkey, and you’d be more right then you know because poultry was something I started to experiment with for the first time around then.
In the end, Mr. Sub is still a guilty pleasure of mine. Though I go a lot less frequently, and I’m still off triangle meat.
Follow me for more health tips.
As a side note, I think I just realized why I felt so bad this vegetarian lady who used to work at a pharmacy down the road. The only food she liked was poutine, and one day my friend’s mom decided to rock her world with the unsolicited information that gravy is non-vegetarian. As you’ve probably been able to deduce, I’m no vegan. But the human experience is universal. I still think about that event sometimes. Poor girl.
By the way, have you read Frog of Arcadia?