BAD DADITORIAL – Hate Sandwich

12 Aug 2010 by Dear Bad Dad, 2 Comments »

Chef's Knife

On a recent vacation trip with The Missus, The Boy and The Girl, Dear Bad Dad had a revelation:

Some people don’t like parents.

OK, maybe not a “revelation.”  More of a “confirmation of the painfully obvious.”  It appeared in the form of a sandwich, though  not in your usual Jesus-in-a-grilled-cheese manner.

The sandwich was purchased at an airline terminal-based franchise of a well-known “food lover’s market.”  The menu on the wall behind the sandwich-making table listed The Boy’s holy of holies: peanut butter & jelly.  Cue heavenly host of angels singing “Hallelujah.”

In front of the sandwich-making table were bins stocked with pre-made sandwiches.  The bins lacked peanut butter & jelly.  Cue dramatic chipmunk music sting.

The prospect of a transcontinental flight with only the airline’s box lunches and no PB&J for The Boy was terrifying. Snakes On A Plane terrifying (“I have had it with these motherf*cking pre-packaged Thai Chicken Salad Wraps on this motherf*cking plane!”)  Dear Bad Dad asked the market’s Counter Person for two PB&J’s: one for The Boy and one for Dear Bad Dad, who sought to reconnect with his lost youth.  Think “Rosebud panini.”

And there the troubles began.

“If it’s not in the bin, we’re out,” said Counter Person.

“But peanut butter & jelly’s on the menu,” replied Dear Bad Dad, pointing to the menu.

“PB&J is custom.  Besides, I don’t have peanut butter,” said Counter Person while assembling a focaccia-based creation on the sandwich-making table.  For those who just joined us, the sandwich-making table was the table on which sandwiches were made.  Except in Dear Bad Dad’s case.

“But there are two Costco-sized jugs of Skippy and Smuckers on that shelf,” replied Dear Bad Dad, pointing to the jugs.  While Dear Bad Dad knows it’s impolite to point, given the choice between A) five-and-a-half hours of PB&J-less whining that would have broken John McCain and B) offending Emily Post’s delicate sensibilities, then Emily Post can kiss Dear Bad Dad right in the etiquette.

With a roll of the eyes, Counter Person grabbed white bread and got to work on making Dear Bad Dad’s impending flight just a bit less unbearable.  Soon, Dear Bad Dad and family were on the Airbus, twelve bucks poorer.  (Yes, $6 for a PB&J.  But at least the service was barely helpful.)

With cruising altitude achieved, The Boy tucked into his sandwich.  And it was very good.

Then Dear Bad Dad unwrapped his PB&J.

But it wasn’t a PB&J.

It was a hate sandwich.

Imagine a softball-sized glob of peanut butter, not spread, but flattened on a slice of bread.

Next, picture a dollop of jelly, Jackson Pollocked onto the other slice.

This was Dear Bad Dad’s PB&J.

Actually, this was:

After two bites, Dear Bad Dad got a big honkin’ taste of “Screw you, Dad.  I will reluctantly do the absolute minimum because you dared to ask me, the Counter Person who makes sandwiches on the sandwich-making table, to make a sandwich on the sandwich-making table when it’s OBVIOUS that an empty peanut butter & jelly sandwich bin means there are no more peanut butter & jelly sandwiches!  Good day, sir!”

[Slight pause while Dear Bad Dad attempts to accept that this is what his life has become.]

Look, Counter Person.  Dear Bad Dad gets it.  Every day you endure a steady stream of Anal Type A parents who make preposterous requests for their supremely picky offspring:

“Is this water de-ionized?  Because that’s the only kind that Beowulf drinks.”

“Veritas is lactose intolerant.  Can I get the cheese quesadilla without cheese? “

“I asked for the pizza slice to be cut up in the shape of Picasso’s Guernica.  How can you possibly expect my Prospero to eat this?”

All Dear Bad Dad did was ask for something off the rack.  Or, in this case, off the dreaded sandwich-making table.

While Dear Bad Dad felt your pain, Counter Person, he thinks of himself as one of the good guys: Dear Bad Dad didn’t take down your name, or ask to speak to the manager, or use that last refuge of scoundrels, the “belittling a person who makes minimum wage over the fact that they make minimum wage.”  And he certainly didn’t ask, “Does the peanut butter have nuts in it?  Because The Boy is allergic to nuts.”

So let’s make a deal: the next time you run into a parent who makes a reasonable request for a sandwich, leave the hate on the side.


  1. Pier says:

    Terrible!! I thought it was impossible to make a pb & j sandwich look bad- so wrong! Hope you reported that hate-monger-sandwich-maker!

  2. yt says:

    really. stop whining, bad dad. man up on this stuff.

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