Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From The Vault: The Story of "Sandwich Flats"

Over the years, I have been asked many questions: "why is the sky blue ?" " Is that a perm ?" " are you still here ?"" can I borrow your copy of Hey Soul Classics?" "Who are you and how did you get in my house ?" "Could you step out of the car please,sir ?"...But I think the one I have been asked most often is..."What the fuck does Sandwich Flats mean ?"

Well, it's an old folk tale...Mostly handed down through the generations through the great tradition of oral storytelling...Back in the late '90's, I said, "Fuck all that oral storytelling. I can't be expected to remember all them words! Time and the demon marijuana have ravaged my brain! I shall write down the "Tale Of Sandwich Flats"! then, I will not be required to remember it!"

I went down to the local watering hole, and had Old Blind No Teeth McGavin tell me the story of the Flats, which I recorded with my handy dandy tape recorder, and then spent several hundred hours transcribing. But, now it was saved for all posterity!

Until I lost the written version. Oops. And for the last several trips out west, attempting to find anyone who could tell the tale, but they were all gone. Old Blind No Teeth McGavin had disappeared. Al "Blinky" Bevington had joined up with the Circus, and was out on the road. Phil "Fingers" McGee had not been seen since he fondled the fiancee of a local crime boss. The whole gang was gone. The Tale Of Sandwich Flats was lost. Lost forever...

Or until Sunday, the 12th of October, 2008. I was searching through a box of old writings and such, and I came across my original handwritten copy of the tale, as well as the typed copy I had made as a "backup". all those prayers had been answered! I like to think that maybe it was the soul of "Fingers", that guided it back to me..I did feel a bit of a phantom tickle on my ass as I found the paper in the box. A sign form beyond the grave ? Perhaps...Perhaps not. But enough of all that...I now give to you...

The Tale of Sandwich Flats
It all started with a man that went by the name Timothy Dimes. It was the name his Mom and Pop gave him, and it was the name that he kept. Timothy was, by most accounts and in most ways, and unremarkable man. He was of average height and weight. He was not handsome, but certainly not ugly.He had a mid sized home, a mid-sized car, and a mid-sized dog(named Spot, of course). He was married to an average looking woman, and they had two average children, a boy and a girl, naturally.

There was, however, one thing in Timothy's life that was above average. Did I say above average? I meant WELL above average. Hell, it was stupendous! It was splendiferous! It was spectacular! Are you simply breathless with anticipation now ? Can you barely contain yourself waiting to find out what this spectacular thing is ?

Wait no more...It was his ability to make a sandwich. Now, you might scoff, but it's true. His sandwiches were out of this world, or "off the hook", as the kids these days say. people came from miles around, other countries even, for as taste, or even just a glimpse of one of his sandwiches. he made all kinds- Turkey & Swiss on a roll, Ham & Cheddar, Corned Beef on rye, BLT's, vegetarian hoagies...You name it, he could make it. And make it better than any sandwich you ever had.

On top of being able to make kickass traditional sandwiches, Timothy also had a knack for making absolutely delicious sandwiches out of a seemingly horrible combination of ingredients. hell, i once tasted a sandwich he created out of seven grain bread, soy sauce,beef tongue, tarragon, sliced olives and eggplant...It was absolutely delicious!!! I swear to you, it was one of the finest sandwiches I have ever eaten. I don't know how, but the guy did it. It was remarkable!

I'm sure that you folks think that Mr. Dimes made millions of dollars from these culinary gifts he possessed, right ? Well, that would certainly be the "Hollywood movie, People magazine feature, Feel-good" ending to the tale. But it would also be a flat out lie.

Like all geniuses(or is it geniusi? No matter, really), Timothy Dimes was a bit peculiar about his talents.He staunchly refused to sell his sandwiches on the open market. he never had his own Food Network show. No cook books. He felt that it would be a corruption of his talents.He was not averse, however, to winning a twenty dollar bet here and there when someone would bet him that he could not make a delicious sandwich out of ingredients they chose for him.(No one can ever remember him losing a single one of those bets.) But he would NOT sell sandwiches.

From time to time, his exploits would reach the ears of someone like Anton Subway or Jeffrey Von Blimpie, who would stop by and persuade him to enter the chain deli business. Timothy would politely turn them away, with a sandwich for the road, of course.He was content to make sandwiches for his friends and family, and perhaps the occasional passerby, and win enough bets to keep himself in meats and condiments.He was a man of particular principles, that's for sure.

As you may have guessed, Timothy lived in the apartment that is now known as "Sandwich Flats". He made most of his sandwiches there, and crowds would gather there, to watch him work, and perhaps score a taste of one of his sandwiches.

The name "Sandwich Flats" evolved over time. at first, people would say they were going to try and find "that Sandwich Guy's Place". later, a young hipster called it the "Sandwich Hut", and that name seemed to stick for a short while, but it never seemed quite right. Finally, in the late '70's, a man by the name of Chris Weston, who was at the time a roadie for a band called "The Discotastic", asked his cousin when they were going to visit that "Sandwich Flat" he had heard so much about. Someone relayed the phrase to Timothy, and being a rather large Steinbeck fan, he fell in love with it. From that moment on, the apartment was known as "Sandwich Flats"(Incidentally, when he did visit, Mr. Weston had a Roast Beef & Brie on pumpernickel. He described the sandwich as "Sandwich-o-tastic!")

And there you have it, Crimestoppers, the long lost Tale of Sandwich Flats.

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