Thursday, October 21, 2010

Patrick White: Fast Food

48. 49. 50. Jimmy, delivery boy extraordinaire, caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of the elevator doors. He was delivering a six foot party sub, and had decided to holster it across his back, like a samurai from a delicatessen of death. He had practiced this specific carrying technique to induce tips (AND free beer) from frat parties thrown around town, and had guessed by its apparent success that it looked pretty badass. But he had never actually seen what he looked like, and now, even he had to admit that it made delivering a sandwich look about as awesome as possible. “It’s not all fun and games folks, but it certainly has it’s perks.”

Ding! Floor 54 had arrived, and he quickly ‘unsheathed’ the sub into a less intimidating stance. Unfortunately, this was a professional place, and they would want the food to be delivered professionally, by someone who would of course themselves be a professional. Not a Zatoichi-wannabe. The doors opened, and Jimmy stepped out of the elevator, and into an office.

The receptionist pointed towards the back room (decidedly unprofessionally, Jimmy thought), and he made his way through the cubicle maze to reach his destination. The ‘party’ room, whose true identity seemed normally to be a conference room, had large windows making up the far two walls, giving a panorama of buildings across the street, unusually dull by even office building standards. A few streamers and signs had been placed around to celebrate some business milestone, but it seemed like trying to cover a wall with a 4x6 photograph, merely highlighting the deficiencies present. It was at this point that a particularly nasty gust of wind came by and blew out the window Jimmy was standing in front of.

Floor 54. Jimmy himself, briefly teetering forward, quickly fell back. The fine piece of food he had been carrying was not so lucky. It slipped right out the window and began its fatal descent.

Floor 53. The sub had just begun to fall. It still had not turned fully vertical. The wrapper was already most of the way off, the wind tearing at it, and soon it floated away, escaping the scene. Two tomatoes had dislodged themselves, but otherwise, the structure of the sandwich was quite strong. It had been tied together to ensure maximum integrity upon delivery, and those ties showed no signs of tossing in the towel now.

Floor 46. The sub now was fully vertical, a drill ready to bore into the earth. It weighed only 5 and half pounds (with just 80 grams of fat!), but because it refused to be torn asunder into its smaller, lighter components, it was quickly picking up speed (at a rate of roughly 9.8 m/s^2). Its sleek design, crafted so carefully by a master for simple aesthetic pleasure, now caused it to slice through the air with deadly purpose.

Floor 33. It had been created on regular wheat bread, and contained three two-foot sections. One end was a Vegetarian Spinach Garden, that was seasoned with light dijon mustard, oil, and vinegar. It contained tomatoes (two of which had now floated off), spinach, peppers, swiss cheese, and avocado to spice things up. The middle section contained the “Dagwood”. Ham, turkey, roast beef, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes (which had not floated off), peppers, mushrooms, swiss, cheddar, and muenster cheese. There was a noticeable bulge in the sandwich over its middle section to accommodate its unwieldy, and thoroughly unreasonable size. And the far end was the cheesesteak. Green peppers, lettuce, steak, provolone, and onions populated this end. The entire sandwich was sprinkled with a touch of fresh ground pepper. It would have been quite delicious.

Floor 24. George Milton, twenty-four stories lower, stepped onto the curb in a rush. His head was swimming with thoughts of something, and those thoughts were about to be forcibly pushed out.

Floor 12. The first sighting of the sandwich took place. Nine people sat bored to tears (literally in one case, as a man had excused himself to go cry in the bathroom) as some asshole gave a presentation on the rising market for Louisiana swampland. The phrase “Crocodile proof fence” had exited his mouth when the sandwich dropped by the window. It was only for an instant, but everybody saw it. One bored member thought, “I guess they ran out of pennies up there.” It was an event odd enough to allow a forced recess and stall the meeting. Everyone left the room for lunch, gleeful, except for the man crying in the bathroom.

Floor 2. The last sighting of the sandwich, while it remained definable as such, occurred among three pedestrians. They gasped at the sub falling (and rightly so, as it was probably the strangest thing any of the three had ever seen), but their gasps vocalized only after the sandwich had finished falling.

Floor 1 (or “L”). Ding! The sandwich, a furious 130 mile-per-hour bullet, arrived at its destination, colliding with George. Approximately six seconds after the initial window blowout fifty-four stories above, George Milton had been put into an irreversible coma due to massive brain trauma and hemorrhaging. A few seconds later, pieces of glass began to rain down, too light to cause anything but superficial cuts, followed by the unceremonious landing of the two tomatoes: one of them on the sidewalk about ten meters away, the other on top of a parked taxi.

Jimmy looked out the window and saw the commotion several hundred feet below him. He could only see a mess on the sidewalk, unable to extract the finer details, and suddenly wished he had gotten the secretary to sign the receipt.


  1. That was excellent! Thank you Patrick. I laughed my head off.

  2. Very funny. My post had to follow that? Oh boy.

  3. OMG!* I'm glad you(collective) seemed to like it. I had lots of fun writing it.

    *to be pronounced as is

  4. Sorry for dp*. wouldn't let me put pronunciation: OMG is "ohm-guh"

    *dp** stands for double post, not another double something which may or may not be a bit vulgar for these forums.

    ** also does not stand for the lighting director.

  5. I did NOT see that coming.

    Very entertaining, very cinematic. I could picture the storyboards as I read it.

  6. Love it. Love it. I like it when people do fiction, and this was fantastic. Great work!