DAVID BROOKS: GABAGOOL BY ANY OTHER NAME
A version of this article originally appeared on Washington Babylon
I’ve never had any trouble ordering a sandwich. I don’t mean to brag, but ordering a sandwich is normally a pretty easy affair. You look at the menu, decide what you want, and you order it. Sometimes everything looks good and you can’t decide which sandwich you want. This might be a stumbling block for amateurs, but not for the sandwich ordering pro. If you just clear your head, get into the sandwich mindset and try to not second guess yourself, this obstacle can be overcome.
New York Times columnist and perennial internet punching bag, David Brooks disagrees. For David, ordering a sandwich is a daunting task, insurmountable by the uneducated masses. The mild-mannered sandwich — once a staple of the working class due to its portability — is now reserved for those who can afford dining at gourmet shops that ruin your sandwich by putting goat cheese on it instead of something that tastes good.
In a recent column about how intersectionality is ruining America or some other bullshit (who knows, i didn’t read it, i just skipped to the good part), Brooks relates an embarrassing anecdote:
Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named Padrino and Pomodoro and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.
How ghastly! Imagine merely being seen with a lowly peasant who barely managed to complete high school. Now imagine that peasant trying to order a “gabagool” sandwich, blissfully unaware that the proper pronunciation is, of course, “capicollo.” I don’t know about you, but I’d die. David Brooks probably also thought he would die, so in an act of self-preservation, David swiftly ushered his inurbane companion out of the Sandwich Shoppe and to the nearest Mexican place. Presumably, one can’t go wrong with a burrito.
I’m not entirely sure why Mexican cuisine is lower on the ordering difficulty scale than the offerings of the finest Italian sandwich artists; those purveyors of pricey panini. You’ll have to ask David that question.
My advice to the unrefined, vulgar masses is to just stay home. Don’t stroll into a high class sandwich shop like you own the place and then start complaining about how $35 seems a bit steep for a chicken parm sprinkled with gold leaf and served on a weathered 2x4 instead of a plate. Stay home. Make a nice, uncomplicated bologna and cheese with yellow mustard on some white bread.
Save yourself the embarrassment; and stop hanging out with David Brooks.