The Holy Sandwich

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Jimmy Bastard
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The Holy Sandwich

Post by Jimmy Bastard » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:51 pm

The Holy Sandwich
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Excerpted from Woody Allen’s Yes,But Can the Steam Engine Do This? a short story in a collection titled Getting Even (1971):

I was leafing through a magazine…
when I came across a sentence at the bottom of the page…
“The sandwich,” it read, “was invented by the Earl of Sandwich.”…
My mind whirled as it began to conjure with the immense dreams, the hopes and obstacles, that must have gone into the invention of the first sandwich.

I experienced a sense of eternity, marvelling at man’s ineradicable place in the universe. Man the inventor! Da Vinci’s notebooks loomed before me – brave blueprints for the highest aspirations of the human race. I thought of Aristotle, Dante, Shakespeare.

I spent the ensuing three months working up a brief biography of its great inventor, his nibs the Earl. Though my grasp of history is a bit shaky, and though my capacity for romanticizing easily dwarfs that of the average acidhead, I hope I have captured at least the essence of this unappreciated genius.

That said, take the following with a large pinch of salt:

…finally – at 4:17 A.M., April 27, 1758 – he creates a work consisting of several strips of ham enclosed, top and bottom, by two slices of rye bread. In a burst of inspiration, he garnishes the work with mustard.

Later that year, his open hot roast-beef sandwich creates a scandal with its frankness.

He supervises… the construction of a hero sandwich by a group of talented followers. Its unveiling in Italy causes a riot, and it remains misunderstood by all but a few critics.

He succumbs in his sleep.
At his funeral, the great German poet Holderlin sums up his (the Earl of Sandwich) achievements with undisguised reverence:
“He freed mankind from the hot lunch. We owe him so much.
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