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The Panera Pilferer

Tony took me to the 'This American Life' Season 2 Live Sampler thing at Celebration Cinema (north!) recently where we met up with others inside- basically I want to convey that he and I did not go on a date. The show was terrific and I wish events like this could happen more often. Live TV watching with many people. I just read in Vonnegut's "Time Quake" his thoughts on how people used to watch the same show at the same time (in different homes, duh), since there wasn't much else on, and they were experiencing the same feelings at the same time. TV as a community experience. I really like it. Like watching 'Lost' together, but not. Because people talk too much and you'd better shut the fuck up during 'Lost'. But fun, live stuff. Or something. I'm not a genius here, I just want it.

But that's not my point.

Before the show we went to Panera Bread across the way and ordered a few sandwiches to go. We sat in a booth waiting and probably talked about something very interesting that I should recount here but I can't remember so oh well. I heard my name called and saw a bag set down on the counter. I got up to get it and saw a guy take my bag and walk to the door. When Tony and I reached the counter I told him what I saw and we looked for our bag. I debated what to do and eventually went to the parking lot and to the guy's car he'd just entered.

He was wearing an FHE (Forest Hills Eastern [high school]) jacket for a sport (either polo, lacrosse or tennis I think) so I guessed he attended that high school, was of high school age, younger/weaker than me and that my age/station in life meant that I could get whatever I wanted out of this kid who stole my sandwich. He was already in the car and I waved my hands to get his attention as he opened the bag. He rolled down the window and I didn't know what to say.

"Uhh, did you, umm, get soup?"
"Yeah, I did." He was really curt. I felt like slapping him.
"Oh, okay."

How do you say to someone, "Hey you little fuck. That bag is obviously huge and for two people. Are you sure you got the right one?"?

I walked back in and told Tony. We told an employee who pretty much confirmed that had to be our bag and asked if he was still there and said we should go out and get it. I hemmed, hawed and went back out. His car was running but he stopped it, still looking in the bag. As I approached the car he saw me coming and said, "Yeah, this isn't mine." I took it and he continued, "I mean, I don't know if you still want it. This is messed up." Implying that it was Panera's fault that he took the wrong bag and that I wouldn't want all that uneaten food his stupid hands had touched. WRONG! I would/did/would again want that food. I don't waste food, son.

Tony and I then put all the food in our pockets and my man-bag so we could then eat a lot while Ira Glass talked to us. Also so I could spill my hot soup on my knee, accidentally eat Tony's sandwich so he would have to eat the cilantro he believes tastes so awful.


The only part missing in this story is how completely useless and passive I was. I feel like the two trips Timmer made out to the parking lot lasted over 5 minutes. In that time I moved (bodily & facially) about 3/4 of an inch. I was completely dazed - by utter confusion, desperate hunger or Timmer's impressive gumption to run after the sandwich stealer... twice!

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