Photo didn’t make it when we switched from Typepad to WordPress. Sorry.
Punishment on a plate: smoked turkey on sunflower seed bread with avocado, scallion, arugula, and chile-lime mayo
Why did I eat this thing? I know not, for the spectacle of a turkey sandwich at high noon sends me into spasms of ennui. That’s right. I am an anti-turkite.
For this, as for so many things, I blame my family. They’re as guilty a bunch of turkey-pushers as ever swigged a Perrier. They cram themselves with turkey sandwiches like nobody’s business, and it’s downright horrible to watch. For example, a couple of months ago I took my parents to one of the greatest barbecue joints in all of Texas, the Salt Lick in Driftwood. Few could disagree that from the Salt Lick’s mighty open pit emanates the best sausage and brisket and ribs for miles around, but my parents, trembling on the precipice of the wild side, ordered turkey sandwiches. Why? Because turkey sandwiches suck.
You see, delectation is antithetical to my family’s belief system. It is their custom to avoid pleasure like the plague, to eschew any and all enjoyment. They decline the invitation to life’s rich pageant. They consider they have gone for the gusto when they put a slice of lemon in their tap water. Their only joy is feeling bad about feeling good. Whenever they inadvertently have a delightful experience, they self-flagellate with a self-righteous turkey sandwich. Not only that, if they see anyone else having a delightful experience, they do not hesitate to tut-tut. As in, “Do you really think it’s wise to eat all those excellent ribs/ buy that fast car/ drink that glass of delicious port? Shouldn’t you have a turkey sandwich instead?”
(Incredibly, they do not view the tut-tut as a sanctimonious and judgmental expression of either their own self-hatred or their neurotic obsession with compulsory global conformity to their peculiar standards of decency. No they do not. They view it as their Christian duty. Despite the fact that throughout all recorded history there is not a single shred of evidence to support their belief, they are under the impression that the disapproving tut-tut literally saves lives. Of course studies show that, in reality, recipients of 5 or more tut-tuts weekly are 68 times more likely than regular people to develop homicidal manias.)
Anyway, my family’s anhedonia is no surprise. They are descended from assorted Spartans and Stoics and Calvinists. This virulent miscegenation of dogmas — inclusive of the charming Doctrine of Total Depravity — appears to produce a race of people for whom a certain ubiquity of pallid turkey sandwiches provides tangible evidence of a pious aversion to worldly gratification. Turkliness is next to godliness and man is but a lump of vanity, composed of sin and misery.
I am delighted to report that the sandwich pictured above was a fluke; a recent blood test has revealed that I possess 100% Epicurean DNA. I was adopted!