I was at the deli and I asked the guy behind the counter for a pound of pastrami. “You want Boar’s Head?” he asked me. And I just kind of looked at him for a minute. He didn’t get it, so I had to spell it out for him, “No, give me a pound of the cheap stuff. If you have any that’s been lying in the back for a few weeks, I’ll take that. And make sure you rub each slice on the floor before you wrap it up.” And he still just kept staring at me, so I had to spell it out even further, I screamed, “Yes! Yes I want the Boar’s Head. What do I look like, a charity case? Give me the Boar’s Head cold cuts!”
Because, look, the world’s your oyster, right? So go for the good stuff. What are you saving, a dollar ninety-nine a pound? Come on, the difference in quality shouldn’t even have to be mentioned. If you want the premium experience, you can’t settle for anything less than the very best.
That goes for sandwich meats. It goes for cookies. One time I was at my grandmother’s house, she made me a sandwich (Boar’s Head) and a glass of chocolate milk. It was a nice visit, I felt like a little kid again, but the whole day was ruined when she busted out the cookie jar after lunch.
“What’s the matter?” she asked me as I started spitting black and white crumbs onto my plate, “Is there something wrong with your Oreos?” and I shot back, “Oreos? You have the nerve to call these Oreos?” They weren’t Oreos, they were Hydrox cookies, imitation, the knock-off brand. “You can’t just go around calling any chocolate cream-filled cookie an Oreo!” I railed at her. You would have thought she learned the lesson about premium products that time she tried to give me a deli-brand ham sandwich, but come on, Hydrox cookies?
“Grandma!” I got a little carried away, “What the hell Grandma, have you tried these cookies? They’re terrible. What did you save, like thirty-five cents here? And don’t give me that Great Depression nonsense, do you see any breadlines? Look, if the economy crashes and everybody gets sent to Europe to fight the Nazis, maybe we can have a discussion about possibly saving some money on buying some Hydrox cookies.
“And do you know how that discussion would go? You’d say, ‘Rob, I hope you don’t mind, but I think it’d be a good idea if we stocked up on Hydrox cookies to save some money to buy war bonds for the boys overseas,’ and then I’d say, ‘You know what Grandma? I’d rather eat nothing. If you really care about the troops, why don’t you send them some cookies instead? Send them a box half-filled with Oreos, and half-filled with Hydrox. They can enjoy the cookies, and use the Hydrox as blunt hurling objects in case they run out of bullets.’”
Everybody’s looking to save a quarter, I went hiking with a few of my friends last week and Derek was in charge of sandwiches. And besides my Boar’s Head and Oreo requirements, I didn’t have much to say in regards to instructions, I figured, you focus on quality, you stick the best, you won’t have a problem.
But we stop for a bit, he pulls out these sandwiches, they’re all wrapped in the cheap-o plastic sandwich bags, I’m talking the off-brand ninety-nine cents for two hundred, thin, flimsy, won’t-even-close-on-top plastic bags. So I took all three sandwiches and threw them far into the woods, I screamed, “Come on man! What the hell? You’re spending all of this money on the good meats, the good bread, the premium cookies, you’re going to shove it all into the cheapest sandwich bags you can find?”
They accused me of overreacting, and yeah, I was pretty hungry for the rest of the hike, but come on, I refuse to appease this penny-pinching. What’s the point of living in the twenty-first century if we’re still going to be using inferior twentieth century products? I want the ones with the resealable ziplock tops, the ones with the space-plastic technology that won’t break, it doesn’t matter how much you put in there, like on the commercials, they’re carrying around bowling balls, and maybe it’s a little much, sure they’re more expensive, but why do you think they make this stuff? You think sandwich bag research and development is going to continue to be funded if consumers aren’t spending their money on the technology? Come on, you want to live in the future? Buy the good stuff. Don’t cut corners on lunch. You’re going to be eating lunch every day until you’re dead, so just, stop trying to save fifteen cents here and there, ooh look, here’s a quarter, I’ll give you a quarter, you want it? Take it.