You are what you eat.
Almost everyone has heard that expression. If it's true, then I'm a plastic-sealed ham and cheese sandwich that can be found in the refrigerator case at your local gas station.
That's right, I like to eat gas station sandwiches and it's high time this type of cuisine had some defendin'. Or, at the very least, an explanation as to why people, specifically myself, eat them.
My co-workers, family and friends have taken it upon themselves to scold me for eating gas station sandwiches. I'm told they're bad for me, that there's no taste to them, that they're too expensive. Pshaw. The accusations made by these people are way off base.
"They're gross," I'm told. Obviously, these people have never tried them. Sure, sometimes the crust is a little dry and hard and the meat is of varying colors, but mash these sandwiches flat with your hand and you're eating fine cuisine. Well, maybe not fine cuisine, but at least a type of cuisine. Besides, would you trust the bologna and ham you find at a grocery store? That stuff can be just as full of miscellaneous animal parts and God-only-knows what else as a gas station sandwich.
"They're full of preservatives," they brow-beat. Preserva... what? I don't mind preservatives. Preservation is good. It's decomposition that I worry about, and I don't want it in my sandwiches, be they gas station or not. Anyway, preservatives are probably the only thing holding my innards together.
Now I'm sure several of you are rolling your eyes at me for defending the gas station sandwich. On its surface, such a debate seems like a pedestrian topic -- goofy musings by someone who obviously doesn't have anything more interesting to write about. That's exactly what the anti-gas station sandwich lobby would have you believe. That lobby has somehow found a way to revolve around me, I think. You just can't understand how much non-gas station sandwich people hate the fact that people eat them. It's scary.
Would it be cheaper to buy a loaf of bread and packages of cheese and meat? Sure, but who has time to make sandwiches? I often work late, and the cost of my time outweighs the savings I might get from buying the ingredients at my local grocery store. Besides, thanks to a nice plastic wrapper, I don't have to do dishes if I eat gas station sandwiches.
If I buy a bunch of ham and cheese, I'm stuck with ham and cheese for as long as the packages last. If I want something different, I have to buy more packages. After a while, I'm knee-deep in cold cuts and various colors, smells and types of pressed curd milk. With gas station sandwiches, I have a choice. Today ham and cheese, tomorrow turkey and Swiss. Maybe later roast beef and cheddar.
So there, I defended the gas station sandwich. Am I proud of the fact that I stood up for a food product that can only be found near rows of beef jerky? Not really, but then again, it doesn't shame me, either. After all, it's just a sandwich. If only the lobby could learn that.
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