Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Old Bologna Sandwich Routine


 Anybody who has ever been taken into custody by the police for protesting has probably been through the old bologna sandwich routine.

Somewhere in the penal code, it must say that if the police hold you beyond a certain amount of time, they have to feed you. But it must not say what they have to feed you. That’s probably left up to the police. Thus, when that designated feeding time comes around, the police do the absolute minimum to fulfill their obligation to the law. They give you a bologna sandwich. And it’s a minimalist bologna sandwich at that. It’s a single slice of bologna smashed up between two pieces of dry, cottony white bread. It’s a sad little sandwich that looks like it was made in a sheltered workshop. Condiments? Ha! Whudaya think this is, The Ritz?

When they bring you that bologna sandwich, it’s like they’re trying to be smart asses about it. It feels like they’re mocking you. The times I’ve gone through the old bologna sandwich routine have reminded  me of my adolescent days when I was in a state-operated  boarding school for cripples, which I refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). There were many mealtimes when we were served a UFO (Unidentifiable Food Object). It was “food” only in the most technical sense. It was quite disheartening to be served a UFO. It felt like it was intended to break my spirit and beat me down

This kind of thing happens a lot to cripples in nursing homes, too. They’re served an amorphous, gray slab. (Could it be meat? A sponge?)  Condiments? Ha! Whudaya think this is, The Ritz?

But you know what? When you’re in police custody and they bring you that damn bologna sandwich, you eat it all up. Yep, in spite of the sneering sarcasm of it all, you say fuck pride and you eat that sandwich all up, because you know that’s all you’re gonna get. And we ate up the UFOs at SHIT, too. And we did it for the same reason.

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