Wednesday, 2 March 2016


When The Crisis comes, as come it must, it will signal a number of seismic changes to the way we live, especially the fundamental tenets of modern society that we currently take for granted. Paper money will only be worthwhile as kindling, for example, or, if you really want to know bitter irony, as toilet paper. Conversely, actual toilet paper will be so rare that it will become a type of currency. There won’t be any sandwiches either. I’ll repeat that: there will be no sandwiches. 

In my lifetime, the sandwich has evolved from something curly and white and slightly smeared with meat paste to a multi-layered, multi-coloured baroque masterpiece, a vulgar but wonderfully rendered piece of rainbow food art with up to sixty ingredients, some of which actually taste of something, others which you would be advised to wash your hands thoroughly after handling. 

Take a look at your store bought sandwich this lunchtime, and simultaneously marvel and recoil at the impossibly long list of sinister components, I speak, of course, about such life-affirming nuggets and unguents as niacin, thiamin, sodium nitrate, ascorbic acid, beryllium, sapphire, silver, steel and watercresss.

Actually, these ingredients may have been in sandwiches before, I don’t know. Perhaps ascorbic acid is in every slice of bread, part of the process. It may even be the tastiest bit. But my point is that, previously, no-one cared. They ate it, or they didn’t, they had no interest in what its constituent elements were. Also, very few people had allergies, and even fewer people cared about those that did. It was a strange and savage world in many ways, but you knew where you were. 

Being made aware of the composition of every molecule of every morsel you put in your mouth has not in any way been an advance. It has caused confusion and fear, and added another wrinkle to the worried and weary face of the 21st century, a period already much older than its time.      

In any event, your worries will soon be over as most of this lengthy list of bromides, anti-coagulants and laxatives will not be available post Crisis or, rather, will be hoarded like rubies and used in bombs or added to stews as a means of removing unsuitable chieftains from power, so that's literally and figuratively one less thing on your plate.

Overall, however, I think that this is most definitely a good thing. As an office worker, I am so very sick of sandwiches. There’s something quite shameful about the average shop bought triple decker on artisanal halfmeal with pumpkin seeds and beetroot slaw – or, indeed, a good old fashioned cheese and pickle pile on cardboard bread in a sweaty cling film coat. A sandwich seems to rams home the corporeality of mankind, its grossness, its self-disgust. Only a KFC is more humiliating. The sandwich is designed to be devoured, shoved in, gulped down, quickly, easily, unthinkingly, in a hurry. Who amongst us hasn’t hastily gobbled a sandwich on a train, on the street, in a corner, in a corridor, like a rat in a bin, or a fox in a skip? Who hasn’t understood with every hasty bite that we’re nothing special, just  large, ambulatory lumps of meat that need to pump prawn and avocado into their guts lest they seize up? 

The sandwich, which always looks so attractive in the hand, goes down like excrement on the palate, because you are never more aware than with the first bite that, in purchasing this gilded turd, you have failed as a human being*.

So, yep, for once, The Crisis will actually facilitate a positive change: no more sandwiches, and no more sandwich shame. Don’t worry, though, you will have a million other things to be mortally disgusted with.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with the sandwich at the top of the post, despite its appearance. It's actually been put into pre-marked anti-theft bag. I don't know what's worse, a world where people steal your sandwiches, or a world where you can buy something to desperately try and stop them. Thank fuck for The Crisis, which will put an end to such dilemmas once and for all.

* This is especially true of awful outlet Subway where, despite being able to customise your bread roll with hundreds of different ingredients, the end result can only ever be one of two combinations: cold shit, or hot shit.

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