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April 23, 2008

On my Way to the U

Photo_116 Here I am at the airport. Today I’m flying to Minnesota for a show at the U, which I’m told is short for “university.” I just had an experience which I feel the need to share because it was so strange that it bears reporting. On my way to the gate, I stopped at one of those concourse shops to get something to eat. Normally I do not like to eat at airports because the food is always terrible. Today I was running late leaving the house, though, and did not have time to make myself anything. So, unless I wanted to wait until I have dinner at Prince’s house tonight in Minneapolis, I figured I had to get something to eat at the airport. (Plus, if you’ve ever been to Prince’s house you know he only serves weird Cuban/Chinese fusion food which leaves me gassy.) So after carefully considering my concourse shop food options, I reluctantly decided to get a Caesar salad wrap on a spinach tortilla. It seemed to be the least offensive of my options. Here’s the surprising part: it was delicious. I have never had an airport sandwich that wasn’t either too dry or too soggy. More to the point, I have never eaten any sandwich wrapped in cellophane that didn’t taste bad. This sandwich, however, was fresh. The lettuce was crisp, the chicken nicely done, the dressing applied responsibly. In short, a terrific, terrific sandwich.

What happened? How did my airport sandwich get so good? Here’s my theory: I arrived at the airport around ten thirty in the morning, which is about half an hour or so before lunch begins. When I got to the concourse shop, I noticed that the sandwich case was fully stocked, which led me to believe that the sandwich delivery had probably just occurred. In fact, it’s possible that I was the very first sandwich customer of the day. Which leads me to believe that it’s not the sandwiches themselves that are terrible at airports, but the fact that they are sitting for hours and hours which turns them terrible. They start out as perfectly lovely sandwiches. Quite possibly, as in my case, delicious sandwiches. It is only the slow, steady march of time which beats them first into mediocrity and then to sludge. And nothing is worse than sandwich sludge.

Time will destroy us all in the end; that’s the lesson I learned today.

(Note: I took the photo before eating my sandwich)


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Sometimes small things surprise us - like $9.59 sandwiches at the airport.

I would have really enjoyed seeing your post-sandwich glee (glow?) as well.

Robert Shapiro of LegalZoom.com

If I saw you at an airport terminal I would shine your shoes for FREE!


I think it would have been adorable to see a wide open smile with a piece of that fresh lettuce dangling between your two front toofers.
I think there is something to being an early bird customer. You get first choice in fresh food AND sexy senior citizens.
(is that your personal body guard in the background?)


Being both a Minnesotan and a 'U' graduate, I knew exactly what you were talking about only by reading your post's title. For areas that have a U of M satellite campus (Duluth, Morris, etc.), the campus is Minneapolis is also referred to as the "Main U."

If you're on campus before 1 PM and you have an hour to burn, may I suggest Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown? Don't let the line scare you away---in all my travels I can still say it serves up the best breakfast and breakfast experience in the country.

Have fun at Prince's---whatever you do, don't let him baptize you in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.


You look cute and serious sitting there at the airport thinking about sandwiches wrapped up in green tortillas.

Glad to hear your sandwich satisfied. Although, personally (<--who cares?) Caesar salad anything makes my tummy flip. Especially if it's infested with that nasty crumbled blue cheese (aka "Eau de stinky feet")- crudding up the huge weed like spinach leaves. Icky pooh!

Sorry to hear Cuban Fusion food makes you gassy, but asking the Prince of Pheromones to "pull your finger" would be a hoot, don't you think? I bet he'd do it too, all flamboyantly and stuff.

Have a great show with the big people of Minnesota. They'll dig on the type of insightfulness you tossed out there at the end. They'll validate you, and nod with their big heads, and say to their neighbor: "Yah hey der, da fellas got a point der, doont cha new".

Then you can all sing some James Taylor together. (Anything off of "Flag").

me again

If I saw you at an airport terminal I would shit my pants! Not literally of course, cause that's just gross. So by shit my pants, I mean get flustered and look the other way.

This blog was kinda depressing and reminded me that all we are is dust in the wind. Sandwiches in the airport of life. Bummer.


Prince lives in Chanhassen not Minneapolis, so I hope you didn't get lost on the way to his house. It can be confusing.
Your sandwich also teaches us about intention. Now we know it was not the intention of the sandwich maker to give us a soggy experience. They are sitting in their sandwich making office tediously putting together masterpieces with great care and concern. It is timing and context that causes this miscommunication. Every sandwich is a product of it's own sandwich circumstance. Just like we are all a product of our own human circumstance.
If you do end up in Chanhassen, you should go to a nearby town called Excelsior (20minutes outside of Minneapolis), on Water Street there is a cafe called the 318 (also the address. http://www.three-eighteen.com/menus.htm) It has the best Turkey Apple Brie Sandwich that I've Ever ever had. I don't live in Minneapolis anymore and I miss it very much.


Having eaten shrink-wrapped vegetarian sandwiches from a hospital cafe every day for a month, I can attest to your theory of time's passage bearing heavily on the quality.

Did we not get an 'after' shot because you dropped dressing down your shirt?


I've never seen so much love for a sammich. Perhaps you should purchase this shirt http://www.bustedtees.com/silf. Actually, I think it would make a good franchise!


Dammit! Bad link,
Well just great. I bet I lost you by now...


wow, I can't believe I JUST learned about this blog. you've been filed into my google reader under the "hooray" tag. think I chose the right one?

p.s. if I was wrapped up in cellophane for hours, I think I'd start feeling depressed and soggy, too.

Ronald Moore

This is a very important story. I hope that the national news medias, like USA Today, will soon learn of this major problem in the airports. I am frequently in airports, and I always bring my own food. Perhaps now I will reconsider their selections. Thank you comedian.

Robert Shapiro of LegalZoom.com

Is that an elderly Michael Showalter sitting behind you with the Macbook?


Hi Michael. I ran into you at the IKEA in New Haven. Sorry to ambush you with the handshake but I wanted to say I liked your work in the State which my friends and I used to watch in college. I also wanted to say that you used to go to school with a Tracy Weitzman (now Tracy Metro) who babysat my years ago. Any memory of her? Anyways, thanks for saying hi.


Poopity pooh

You're still on your way to the U...


I have never seen anyone that old using a mac, good for him.

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