Possibly one of my most masochistic lame adventures is my daily lunch regimen during the work-week. In the more than five years since I have commenced my illustrious career in competitive floor tile labeling, I have seldom deviated from bowling bagging my lunch Monday through Friday. A take-out sandwich in any reputable (unlikely to include ptomaine as an extra ingredient) sandwich shop in the vicinity of my Tribeca area workplace would set me back close to $10 a day. The thought of investing $50 of my meager alms on five overpriced sandwiches a week when I have to feed the ravenous theater and movie-going beast within puts my priorities in perspective. Therefore, I have long been committed to making my lunch myself for dimes on the dollar.
Over this half decade, I have essentially eaten a variation of the same modest lunch every day, a homemade sandwich, a piece of fruit, and some kind of dark chocolate. With time off for vacation, holidays, the infrequent sick day, an upper endoscopy, a mole removal, and the rare lunch out, I have calculated that I have eaten approximately 1,200 sandwiches since I was recently awarded the title Minister of Tile Labeling in response to my heated demand for a salary increase. When my sister, Dovima, brags to her friends about me, they’re under the impression that I’m now a member of Parliament.
From this number of sandwiches you might assume that I’m very fond of the sandwich, but you would be sorely mistaken. I’m certain that if I die and go to hell, the only foodstuff on the menu will be a sandwich, and one as appetizing as the kind I make, if you’re a fan of dining in state penitentiaries or kennels.
Yet, when I’m sitting with Milton, in a close center orchestra seat at a sold out performance of A Little Night Music on Broadway, where Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury take turns spitting on us, 48 weeks of mediocre lunches per year is a small sacrifice for such a satisfying pay-off. In fact, I hardly notice the cell phones ringing and audience members coughing tubercularly during the singing of Send in the Clowns. I am so grateful that eating years of crummy sandwiches is why I can afford to go to the theater, I am almost blind to the man sitting next to my dear friend, jumping out of his seat and applauding enthusiastically before the show’s finale. As Milton dryly observed, “The clowns are here – right next to us.”