Yesterday I went to my local sandwich shop, and you wouldn’t believe what I saw. The guy in front of me bought a ham sandwich. A ham sandwich! There he was, in public, ordering a ham sandwich as if it was the most normal thing in the world. So I tapped him on the shoulder and said “Hey buddy. How about you eat your sandwich in private. This is a town with good folks in it, and we don’t appreciate your kind around here when there are impressionable kids about.”
The guy had the gall to look at me confused. “Excuse me?”
“No I won’t excuse you,” I was quick to retort. “I don’t like your sandwich. I want you to stop ordering that ham sandwich and apologize to everyone in here.” I turned to face him, letting him know I wouldn’t back down from my stand on the issue. I was sick and tired of people like him showing up and changing everything.
“Look, guy,” the pork-eater said to me, “I don’t know who you are or what your problem is. Why do you care if I get a ham sandwich? I’m not forcing you to eat one. How about you have your sandwich and I’ll have mine.”
I looked down at his sandwich with revulsion, and back up at him, still revolted. “Because I think sandwiches are sacred, and here you are profaning their sanctity. You come into my town and try to change the definition of traditional sandwiches. Well I’m not having it. So why don’t you toss that sandwich away!”
The man looked back at the store clerk, trying to give me the cold shoulder. I tapped him again “Hey buddy, I’m talking to you.”
“Leave me alone!” the bacon buffoon said. “I didn’t call your sandwich evil. I didn’t make up rules about you can eat! I wasn’t even bothering you. No, you decided to make my sandwich your business and get all riled up about it. Stop it! Let me eat my sandwich in peace!”
“Hey everyone!” I yelled to the sandwich shop. “Look at this guy. Take a good look. Do you see what he’s doing? He’s eating a ham sandwich!”
People started to murmur and gasp amongst themselves. One mother took her kids by the hand and left the store. They knew that this guy was a creep now, a sausage sinner if they ever saw one. A couple of them moved to stand behind me. The guy took a few steps back, something he wouldn’t do if he was ignorant of his sin.
“Folks” the hambo said, trying to appeal to the crowd, “this really isn’t any of your business. I saw that you guys were eating your sandwiches and I wanted one too. I don’t see why you guys get to eat the kind of sandwiches you like and I don’t, just because I like ham.”
A couple of people started to shout reasons why, but I quieted them down with a gesture before things got out of hand. I wanted to humiliate this porker, right in front of everyone, and convict him of his shame. “Listen. We’ve all enjoyed sandwiches for a long time before your kind decided to show up. We’re not going to sit by and let you just ruin that for everyone else’s sandwich!”
The man looked confused. “How does my sandwich have any impact on your sandwich?”
Someone yelled from the back. “It’s an abomination! It ain’t a traditional sandwich!”
The man looked even more confused. “People have liked ham for a long time, this isn’t a recent trend. What makes your sandwich a traditional sandwich?”
The same man yelled from the back, “It’s the only kind of sandwich!” Cheering erupted along with some clapping.
I quieted the shop down with another gesture. I wasn’t about to let some anonymous voice from the back steal my thunder, because I felt the heat of god’s wrath being channeled through me. “If you must know, a traditional sandwich is the kind that God set down. In the book of Exodus, God set down the perfect example of what a sandwich should be.” I smiled at him, because I’d committed this bible verse to memory in case I met a bacon-eater like this one. “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’ That’s what a traditional sandwich is: white bread and honey. The way god intended!”
Cheering erupted from the crowd. I sneered at the boar biter. “And come to think of it, you aren’t eating your ham on white bread! And that’s way more than an omer!” The crowd started to boo and hiss at the man.
The swine swallower turned red. I knew I had him, but he tried to weasel his way out of God’s word where he stood convicted. “You do know,” he started, “that sandwiches predate the bible? The agricultural revolution took place 16,000 years ago, and their primary crop was wheat. Bread has been around for about that same length. It’s part of what catapulted homo sapiens into modern people. Sandwiches have-“
It was too late for him to go on with that liberal nonsense. People were shouting and booing the hog hankerer. “The bible starts at the beginning of the world, 6,000 years ago!” yelled one man. “It’s manna and foul! Not manna and sow!” yelled another. I just started to laugh, and the crowd quieted.
“Look at this guy,” I guffawed, “he thinks that monkeys were eating sandwiches before the world was created!” Everyone burst out into hilarious laughter.
“I didn’t say anything like that. Humans are homo sapiens! Monkeys are a totally different species.” His protests were lost in roars of laughter. A couple of people pantomimed monkeys. One threw a banana at the guy. I didn’t appreciate him calling me a monkey, and neither did anyone else in the town. Still, the pigsty guy tried to plead his case. “Sandwiches still predate the Bible! Many cultures had sandwiches before the Bible was written down. If anything, the people of your god learned how to make sandwiches in Egypt! And more than that, the Bible has many DIFFERENT kinds of sandwiches in it. Sometimes god commands bread to be flat! Other times it is served in loaves! Why did you decide that this one example of manna is the perfect sandwich when it isn’t proper bread for which to make a sandwich!”
Another shout from the back rang out. “Because that’s the way it’s been for hundreds of years! Who are you to question that?”
“Whatever!” the man shouted. “I don’t even believe in Bread God. Why should I have to eat his ideal sandwich? I’m not going to let a ghost from the Stone Age dictate my life choices with sandwiches or anything else!”
The crowd quieted. This was something worse, an atheist and a ham eater, talking out in public as if he deserved the same rights as all of the normal people. I could feel bile rising in my throat, but I kept my temper. “Because, you piglet poacher, god didn’t just show us what the best, traditional, and only kind of sandwich is, but he also told us what kind of sandwiches not to eat!”
I recalled to memory a couple of verses before reciting them before everyone. “Leviticus 11, seven and eight. ‘And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.’ There’s also Isaiah 65. ‘All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good…who eat the flesh of pigs…such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day!’”
“You’ll burn in hell if you don’t turn from your carnivorous ways!”
“God hates Pork!”
“Stop corrupting our children!”
“I still don’t believe in Bread God.” The salami stranger looked exasperated. “Why would I care that he hates pigs if I didn’t care that he likes honey?” The oinker orderer looked confused, exaggeratedly so, like he learned in that liberal college he probably went to. “I…still don’t believe in Bread God, even if he doesn’t like pigs. But you do. Didn’t Jesus die for the sins of everyone, even people that eat pigs? There’s even a story in Acts about Peter is offered pigs to eat from god who said they were clean-“
Booing cut the man off as people yelled at him.
“Don’t you dare use the Bible if you don’t believe in it!”
“What do you know about clean animals, piggy!”
“Pigs weren’t specifically mentioned in that story, you secular swine! Only four footed unclean animals!”
“Your parents must be so disappointed in you!”
“Take Ham Reparative Therapy. Damn the spam!”
“Listen! Listen!” The swine-seeking stranger called out. “The shop offers ham sandwiches, so obviously they are just fine.”
“Oh don’t you dare!” I justly accosted, jabbing my finger into his chest. “It’s people like you, pushing your ham-eating agenda on the rest of us that have forced this good shop owner to have to carry your abomination! I’ll have you know that we are taking this case to the highest court in the land! There is no reason why this Bread God loving business should ever have to serve ham-eaters like you! This shop has the right to love god and shouldn’t be forced to sink down to your level! It goes against everything this shop believes in!”
The man looked confused. “This business has a religion? It has religious rights that trump mine and common politeness?”
“Don’t get clever with me!”
“I’m not! You just said that this sandwich shop has a religion. If anything, you’re the one that’s being silly.”
The people in the shop started to boo the man again. He comes into our town, into our shop, and demands that we just treat him like everyone else, like he has a right to force us to serve him and his hellish ways.
“If your Bread God hates pigs so much, why did he create them? Why did he make me in such a way that I like ham?”
This godless pigheaded liberal was getting on my nerves. “No one is born liking ham! It’s unnatural! You turned away from Bread God and turned to sin! You just want to do things your own way! You want to carry out your vile cravings and snub everything that is good and right!”
“What do you mean it’s unnatural? You see pig-eating in nature all the time. Wolves, hyenas, tigers, crocodiles, larger birds, and even dingos eat pigs. Throw a pig in the ocean and I bet a shark would eat it. Humans have eaten pigs since ancient history. It’s perfectly natural! And scientists have shown that people don’t choose whether or not they like ham, it’s just the way they are.”
“God doesn’t make mistakes!”
“Who are you to question god?”
“Bread God didn’t make pigs, the devil did, in order to test us!”
“It’s not sinful to like ham, it’s just sinful to eat it! Abstain from ham!”
The man grabbed his sandwich and started to walk out of the shop. People cheered that the abomination was finally leaving, but, just as he reached the door, he turned around. “You guys don’t care at all about Bread God. You just hate people like me because you are bigoted, narrow-minded, and prejudiced! You hide behind your Bread God just so you can shrug your shoulders and say ‘it’s not me that hates you, it’s Bread God. Take it up with him!’ And then you turn to thin air, waiting for me to talk to your imaginary friend, as if you actually expect me to carry on with your fantasy. I won’t play this childish game with you! I don’t follow your Bread God, and neither do you!”
The crowd was seething in anger.
I stepped forward. I wasn’t going to let him have the last word. “What do you mean we don’t follow Bread God? I love Bread God with all my heart and soul!”
“No you don’t, you miss the message completely,” the man let loose with his pigsty lie. “I see that you are wearing mixed fabrics, which god forbids in that book of Leviticus that you quoted at me. He calls it an abomination. You over there, the married couple, do you force your wife to sleep in a different bed when she’s on that time of the month? Have any of you sacrificed an animal to appease god of your sin? Do any of you treat your wife as unclean for 33 days after she gives birth? I’m looking at the advertising board here in the shop, and it looks like this very shop has created idols and images. And here we all are on a Sunday, breaking the Sabbath rule. If any of you have a vegetable garden with more than one kind of plant in it, you’re an abomination! If you get your hair cut in the wrong way, you are an abomination! Tattoos are an abomination! Eating at Red Lobster is an abomination!
“But here you all stand, accusing me of a rule I don’t follow for a religion I don’t have, when you all are breaking MULTPILE rules from the SAME book of the Bible that you do follow. You are all hateful hypocrites, hiding behind your Bread God so that you don’t have to come to terms with your own corrupted hearts. You want to hold me under the law of your religion while at the same time saying that it doesn’t apply to you in the slightest. Even if I believed in Bread God you wouldn’t accept me. You’d say that liking ham is too big of a sin for Bread God to handle, and that’s where he draws the line.”
The man left the shop, got in his car, and pealed out of the parking lot. We never saw him again.
We showed him!