Monday, November 2, 2009

Where can I get a sandwich in Arbutus?

I'll explain what that means in a moment, but let me begin by saying "Thank Goodness" that Halloween fell on a weekend. There is no scarier prospect than Halloween falling during the school week - the candy, the sugar-rush, the pranks, the silliness ... and then there's the students.

We hosted a Halloween gathering - my folks, Pam's folks, the Albrights, the Miles, the Roussillons, and the Monfrieds. The spread was fantastic - a tray of nuggets from Chick-Fil-A; Margie's crab soup, Dennis's chilli, Tracey's meatballs, Holly's cornbread, Jen's cookies and cupcakes ... and a platter of sandwiches from Mars.

Not the planet - the supermarket.

Not in Ellicott City - in Arbutus.

I am one of the first people to be willing to drive for good food ... Friendly Farm, The Tasting Room, Waffle House, and others. In fairness, the sandwiches were very good - a collection of shrimp salad, tuna, and chicken salad. Soft potato rolls. Pickles.

But the deli around the corner from us was out of something key ... how does a food store run out of food? Anyway, so we decided to pursue the same sandwiches, and the good people at Mars pointed up toward Arbutus.

The two towns are more than 10 miles apart, but it feels like another universe when you drive into Arbutus. And my experience in the store proved the point. I proceeded to the deli counter, took my number and waited my turn. The lady that waited on me took my name and shouted to a guy in the back who walked into a big fridge ... and then she took a plastic spoon, dipped it into the big container of shrimp salad, and ate it . She appeared to mull this over, and as she tossed the spoon into the trash, she announced "Too much mayo - not enough Old Bay."


The guy with the sandwiches emerged from the fridge, walked to me, and kept on going. Puzzled, I followed him and we got in line to pay. I offered "you don't have to wait here" but he shook his head and said something about needing a copy of the order form.

So we're in line, and I ask the guy to show me the paper, because I did not know the price. I must have been reading aloud to myself, because I next hear "MMMM, I'm coming to the party at your house!"

The speaker is a classic "Bawl-mer" woman ... jeans, a Ravens t-shirt, and looking as though she'd had a few too many Natty Bohs in her day. I chuckled, and responded "Well, I'm looking forward to the nuggets from Chick-Fil-A" and then she and the deli guy both got excited.

Now they both wanted to come to the party. I let the comments slide, paid my bill, and headed back to the car.

Other Halloween observations:

Best costume - a guy wearing a pig mask and a t-shirt that said "Flu"

Best candy - the family that gave out a full-size Nestle Crunch bar

Best use of a stroller - as a candy-hauler and a bottle holder

Best comment - from Lilly: "Daddy, I want more candy but I'm tired of walking."

Next holiday update - Thanksgiving.

Gobble Gobble