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An Open Letter To The Woman Standing In Front of Me In Line At Arby’s Who “Can’t Wait” To Try The New French Onion Beef & Swiss Sandwich.
Monday January 23rd 2006, 10:52 pm
Filed under: letters

Dear Woman Standing In Front Of Me In Line At Arby’s Who “Can’t Wait” To Try The New French Onion Beef & Swiss Sandwich,

I know what you’re thinking, lady. It’s 12:30 and we’re both in line at Arby’s in the food court at the Merchandise Mart. We’re in the same boat here. We’ve paid for our food and are clutching our receipts, occassionally looking at the number at the top and wondering how long it’s going to be before we’re sinking our teeth into a delectable mix of beef, swiss cheese and, of course, onions. We’re both hungry, both on our lunch breaks. But that is where the similarites end, because you evidently “can’t wait” to try the new French Onion Beef & Swiss Sandwich.

Maybe you’re just making a big show out of this for your friend who’s waiting in line with you. She’s got a maki combo from Tokyo Lunchbox, and lord knows that’s a tough act to follow. Maybe you’re just trying to keep up. That could explain why you keep smacking your lips, looking at the big picture of the new French Onion Beef & Swiss sandwich on the menu and saying “I can’t wait to try that.” I think you should explore Arby’s menu offerings before you get too excited about this new sandwich. Judging by the tone of your voice, my guess is you’ve never eaten Arby’s before in your entire life.

But oh – now you’re complaining that Arby’s new “over the top” brownies aren’t as good as the old “volcano” brownies. I underestimated you, and now I’m baffled. The idea that someone could be an experienced Arby’s customer and still be bursting at the seams to try the new French Onion Beef & Swiss sandwich is just, well, wow. That’s really something.

I’m not going to say I “can’t wait.” It’s not going to have real swiss cheese on it. I can tell you that much without even tasting the damn thing. It will probably have some kind of “french onion sauce” on it, making the marble rye bread it’s on soggy and cold. It will come with curly fries, and those are good, but the sandwich? Eh. I can wait.

But you are excited, and I won’t try to take that away from you. I will stand here silently, waiting for my French Onion Beef & Swiss sandwich with curly fries and a medium Dr. Pepper, and then I will ask for ketchup. The cashier will ask “how many?” because that’s what they do, and I will answer “I don’t know… just, you know, some. A couple.” Then I will go and sit down and eat about half of my sandwich, which will probably taste okay at first, but you – you’re different.

Your friend will eat her maki combo and you will eat your French Onion Beef & Swiss sandwich, and you’ll moan in exaggerated ecstasy. “Mmmm,” you’ll say, “this is so good.” Because you love Arby’s, but I do not. Don’t think that I’m looking down my nose at you. I envy you. For you will enjoy your lunch, and I will go back to my office unfulfilled, my mouth coated with traces of imitation swiss cheese food spread and french onion sauce.

Bon appetit. And hey – try to enjoy that “over the top” brownie.


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