Sub Bun Disappointment

March 27th, 2010 by Potato

I went to the Superstore today to get some sub buns, and also hope that they had restocked the bottles of Coke Zero that were on sale last week, but which they ran out of in the first day (so I have a rain check for them). I should also note that I’ve really wanted subs the last few days. I went on Wednesday and they did have some sub buns, but they were already a day or two old, and they’re only good for 2 or 3 days, so I figured I’d wait. I went back yesterday, and there were no sub buns, so I just got some pasta and cookies (which were on sale — a terrible idea I’ll get to in a bit. It should be illegal to make cookies that delicious that cheap). I’ve been eating a lot of pasta and soup and KD (by which I mean PC deluxe macaroni and cheese) because I haven’t been able to get sub stuff this week, and that’s a lot of pot washing and I was frankly getting sick of it.

So today, I’m there, and there’s no sub buns. What the fuck? I even went there kind of early (but not so early that I might have risked being there before the sub buns came out). They had fields of panini buns, but the panini buns don’t make particularly good sandwiches. I mean, you can put some garlic and cheese on them and throw that in the oven for a pretty decent garlic bread, but a sandwich? Nuh-uh. The RCSS here in London has the best sub buns — obviously I think highly of them if I went to the grocery store three days in a row to try to get some.

In the end I just grabbed 6 cases of Coke Zero and went on my way.

As I was explaining this on the phone to Wayfare, she asked “Why couldn’t you just get some wraps? You can put all the same stuff in it, and have wraps for lunch.”

And here’s the thing: on a scale of one to wraps, the best a wrap can ever hope to do is wrap. A sub, on the other hand, is like Chuck Norris round-house-kicking you in the mouth. It’s an awesome flavour parade that has incredible flexibility to be toasted, panini-pressed, or eaten just the way it is. Plus, the texture is just so much better: a wrap is basically just packaging for the sad little salad you’ve made yourself, whereas a sub bun is a major player in its own right (and Wayfare of all people should know that since she often has those sub buns all on their own without toppings). It’s an adventure into a mythical land of bready bubbles that you only get to swim in after crashing through that hint of a crust. And the RCSS sub buns are so good that, in my own home, I can make a sub that’s better than anything Subway or Mr. Sub can offer, that’s also healthier and less expensive. It’s just that variety of awesome that I was looking for, and was denied.

So at the bottom of the receipt was that invitation to go take a survey with them, and I was all like “Yarrr! I’m-a gonna give your bakery manager guy a bad review and let you know how very disappointed I was about my three trips specifically to get your sub buns that ended in disappointment!” Yet much to my surprise there was no comment field at all where I could start ranting at these clowns, so I had to settle for putting down “very unsatisfied” with the bakery department and hope they figure it out.

Then it was time to work on reanalysis. People don’t understand the importance of the re in research. There’s a lot of re going on.

So as I’m analyzing I’m feeling you know, a little stressed, a little dumb, a little bored even, and I’m trying to focus and not make mistakes and most importantly just get it done.

Then I started to wonder: what if I become an evil mad scientist when I get my PhD? Would my effort to hurry up and finish actually be to the detriment of mankind? Would my mind-controlled zombie minions overthrow the world hegemon we suffer under today, only to replace it with an iron-fisted rule of my own making that was even worse for the everyman? Perhaps procrastination is the only thing standing between my genius maniacal lust for power, and the safety of all living things?

No, no, that’s just the procrastination talking, back to work.

Now, as a scientist, I can recognize a pattern. Mostly. Anyhow, when I last finished a graduate degree, I got really, really fat. I was really, really sick through a lot of that too, so I have excuses and doctor’s notes and what-not, but the fact of the matter is that I gained 40 pounds in a really short, intensely stressful period of time, and despite my (best isn’t the word I’m looking for here, so let’s say:) incredibly average efforts, I only ever managed to lose 10 of those (many of which, I gained back this winter). I did get in much better cardiovascular shape, which I’m moderately proud of, but it’s still been a long-term goal to get back to my mid-MSc weight. I consider it a bloody miracle of self-control that I haven’t turned into a minor planetoid and haven’t even re-crossed that high water mark, so feel free to leave me encouraging accolades in the comments section, but nonetheless under normal* amounts of stress I haven’t made much progress, so I’ve decided that I have to be especially careful as I get into the intense writing-up-and-defending portion of this degree. So I’m thinking about what kind of exercise regime I should try to set up to stay in shape and how strict of a diet I should attempt to stick to, all while I’m doing analysis. I’m even starting to think about how awesome I’ll look as a slimmer Dr. Potato.

Of course, as I’m doing said analysis, I’ve got the box of on-sale cookies beside me, nomming away as I edit these files. It’s just go-go-go-go-go over here, I’m totally in the zone, backspace backspace, add 5, retypte, nom nom, down two lines… next thing I know it’s 1 am and I realize I haven’t had a meal for like 12 hours and I’m not the slightest bit hungry.

Then I realize I just ate nearly 400 g of cookies, roughly 1900 calories worth, while I was doing my thing. Damnit, this “watch what you eat during the high stress time” is going really, really poorly to start with.

Wayfare’s on the phone and I’m relating my day to her, and wondering if I should maybe go throw up a little because that surely can’t be good for me. Except that I worry that that may be the first step to a rather serious eating disorder. “Oh, it’s no surprise you feel sick if you ate almost a pound of cookies!” she says.

No, no, I don’t feel sick at all. I feel abso-frigging-fan-tastic. Think about eating a cookie or a half dozen cookies. You feel pretty good, right? They’re cookies, you had some, life is good, the universe is far more balanced with the cookies inside you rather than inside that stupid box where they weren’t doing anybody any good.

Now think about how good you’d feel if you had 72 cookies.

Yeah, it’s a party in your mouth, and your brain’s all tingly on the glucose and happy hormones. For the short-term, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario. You could race a goddamned horse and ride a tiger into battle and analyze the ever loving hell out of some data. YEAAAAH!

“You don’t feel sick to your stomach at all?” she asks.

“No,” I say, apparently really quickly, like one of the Gilmore girls, though it really doesn’t sound all that fast to me, “I’ve been trained from a very young age to be able to digest intense amounts of junk food. I’m like a samarai, or a cookie ninja, just that kind of lifelong, total dedication to intense training that produces a level of total awesomeness that’s hard to look at directly. I mean, if the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters were to come into our plane of existence and try any shit in this day and age, let me tell you, I’d handle that situation. That’s the kind of digestive system I have going here.” I’m sure you’ve seen examples of it elsewhere: my supervisor has been eating so many hot peppers over his lifetime that at this point he can basically consume fire. I’m like that, but for sugar and starches.

She giggles for a bit “Oh, I wish I was recording this right now.”

Anyway, on the subject of talking to Wayfare via the phone, the other night she says to me “How is it we’ve been going out for almost 9 years and I never knew you could draw??”

“I what? I still don’t know that I can draw, what are you talking about?”

Your post, you drew! I’ve never seen you draw before!”

“That? That’s not drawing, it’s just a quick sketch, and it’s not very good. I’d do stick-people, but then I’d be ripping off Randall Monroe.”

“It’s pure great! It even kind of looks like you!”


Finally, “disappointment” is a funny word. You’re never appointed with something, are you? I mean, you can be appointed to something, or appoint a room with some froody furnishings, or have an appointment for a colonoscopy, which you can then be disappointed in, but it’s really not the same thing.

* normal for graduate school, which is intense for all you sonsofbitches in the “real world” who think you have it so much tougher just because you can get fired at any time and have to be “productive” and pay taxes and don’t get to play frisbee on Wednesday afternoons just because it’s so fucking gorgeous outside that it really is a sin to stay in and look at the computer screen when spring is in the air…

One Response to “Sub Bun Disappointment”

  1. Potato Says:

    Netbug says:
    “what if I become an evil mad scientist when I get my PhD?”
    dude, isn’t that the whole point of the degree in the first place?
    Potato says:
    Well, the point is to become terrible and feared and take control of the world but all in the name of making it a better place.
    Some mad scientists lose their way and become pure evil, building doomsday devices to set the atmosphere on fire and killing everyone just because it would look awesome from space.
    Netbug says:
    but think of just how awesome it would look!