The Sandwich (in Sandwich)


There are certain things you must endure during the course of your life. You must experience the freedom and fun of childhood, the pain and humiliation of puberty, the agony and utter devastation of unrequited love, the slavery and submission of working for a living, and the misery and misfortune of adulthood.

But there are a few glimmers of good here and there, that spur you on in your eternal quest for happiness. One man managed to find his happiness tucked between two slices of bread. His name was John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.

The Earl of Sandwich asked his server to bring him his meat between two slices of bread, as it allowed him to continue playing cards while eating. I am eternally grateful to the Earl for his wonderful invention, as I also have difficulty eating loose meat while playing cards.

Another thing that has helped me along in my adult life of misery and misfortune is travel. On one particular occasion I was able to visit Sandwich, the historic town in southeast England named for the Earl who is responsible for the wildly popular convenience food.

When we arrived in Sandwich we asked ourselves, rather sincerely, “What should we do here in Sandwich?” and the answer was a resounding, “Visit the local museum and get some petrol so we can be on our way”. Then my friend Erin, who is nearly always the voice of reason exclaimed, “We must eat a sandwich in Sandwich”. It hadn’t occurred to us, but we were glad when it did.

We asked a few locals where to go for a top sandwich, and they directed us to a quaint little tearoom for a “proper” sandwich; the kind the Earl would have insisted upon. A charming old woman with an English accent greeted us at the door. She directed us to a nearby table and told us the daily specials: Tomato soup. Cheeseburger. Chicken fingers: traditional English cuisine. She left us for a moment to consider our orders. I stared hard at the menu and then settled on the tomato soup. As I began to order, my dear friend Erin reminded me: “We must eat a sandwich in Sandwich”.

I told the charming old woman to bring me a sandwich then, the biggest and best available. I politely asked her to make sure my sandwich had two slices of bread and plenty of fillings, as I wanted an authentic “sandwich” experience.

Well, I can tell you that sandwich was delicious. It was definitely one of the top ten sandwiches I have ever consumed, only trailing the smoked gouda and pickle sandwich I had in Bruges.

There are few things that are able to combat the misery and misfortune of life.

Eating a sandwich in Sandwich is definitely one of them.

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