There’s this Subway I don’t visit often, but which is kind of my go-to if I’ve worked through lunch on deadline or something and it’s 2:30 or so when I break to eat. I’ve almost always got it to myself at that hour, but this past Friday there was one guy who got there right before I did.
“What can I get for you?”
“Hello! How are you this afternoon?”
(Dude. I’m hungry.)
“Fine, and how are you?”
“I’m good, thank you!”
“Great. What can I get you?”
“I will have a footlong…wheat…turkey, and…Black Forest ham!”
Oh, no. It’s Incremental Guy.
Now this is not your routine inconsiderate jackass who just takes way too much time, trots 25 items through the express lane, or similar. Oh, no. His crimes are much more insidious. He does one thing that’s no big deal. Then he does another thing that’s no big deal. Then he does another thing that’s no big deal, and you start feeling that maybe your big deal needle is moving out of the green. It’s like he’s not plugged into the same societal gestalt the rest of us are. You know this guy? You’re sambaing, and he’s waltzing? Dig?
So we get through Incremental Guy’s cheese selection in no less than 275% of the time it should have taken, and the sandwich artist asks what he wants on it.
“Let’s see…I’ll have lettuce…”
He does this through all nine or ten toppings. The young lady making his sandwich was clearly capable of receiving four or five specifications at a time.
“Chips and a drink?”
“Yes, please. Could I get the larger cup?”
“Oh, and could you wrap that as two sandwiches, please?”
That’s when I had this very brief but rather vivid vision of whacking him in the head with a claw hammer.