It was lunchtime on a Monday in the small village of Barrannannga, so naturally nearly all the locals were lining up outside Sonny’s Sandwich Store, for their daily dose of the best darn sandwiches in town.
“I’m gonna order one of the chicken and mayonnaise ones today!” Willy the Wheelmaker announced as he gazed longingly at the window display.
“I’m gonna order two of the chicken and mayonnaise ones!” Timmy the Turpentiner chimed in.
Everybody chuckled with amusement.
“Look, he’s opening the door!”
Out walked Sonny; a marvellously joyful bowtie-clad fella whose smile could melt a sun-man.
“Hope you guys like sandwiches!” Sonny, announced to his loyal friends and customers.
As the townsfolk cheered and flocked to get the best seats in the fine establishment, Sonny started serving sandwiches left right and centre.
“OK let’s see, we got roast beef and lettuce for Mr. Samuels, turkey and tomato for Mrs. Beverleys, and cheese and avocado for Sergeant O’Callaghan.”
“Ho ho ho, you cheeky scallywag, Sonny.”
Sonny winked and his eyelid sparkled.
“Mr Sonny, Mr. Sonny, can I please have a double deluxe bacon sandwich with—”
“With no crusts? Already on it, Fat Frederick.”
“Aw, wow! He knows my name!” Fat Frederick smiled.
“What’s your secret, Sonny?”
“Oh, there’s no secret, Harry the Homeless Man,” Sonny responded as he wiped his margarine-ing knife. “Just bread, meat, salads and plenty of compassion. Oh and condiments.”
“How much compassion?”
The townsfolk all laughed for several minutes until they were interrupted by the sounds of cheering, trumpets, and fanfare.
“Hey what’s all that commotion?” asked Lenny the Locksmith’s Butler.
“Yeah, sounds like some sort of grand opening.”
Sonny popped his head out the window and almost dropped his lettuce applying tongs in shock.
The Mayor was proudly cutting a ribbon in front of a magnificently massive store directly across the road, with a grand sign reading “ULTRA SANDWICH WORLD.”
It wasn’t long before Sonny’s patrons also started noticing the first new addition to their town since the park got a new plaque for the birdbath back in ’97.
“Wowee, it’s one of those new fangled Ultra Sandwich World stores from the big city!” cried George the Gearstick Cleaner.
“Gosh Heavens! Let’s go right now!” screamed Melanie the Sexual Education Clinic Manager.
The customers flooded out of the store and rushed over to Ultra Sandwich World, several of them throwing their half eaten sandwiches in Sonny’s face on the way out.
“Heh heh, ah well, townsfolk will be townsfolk,” Sonny chuckled as he brushed tuna from his hair. “I’m sure they’ll be back in a couple of minutes.”
Three minutes later and Sonny was furious.
“Well, bother me sideways! I serve them sandwich after sandwich of sandwiches, lunchtime in and lunchtime out, and this is how those…those…inconsiderates treat me! Well, I’m going to go over there and give them all a piece or two of my opinion!”
Sonny burst into the entrance of Ultra Sandwich World, the customers murmuring in shock.
“Hey it’s that guy whose sandwich place we used to go to before this more bigger one started, remember?”
“Oh yeahhhh, Sammy?”
“Nah, Bunny I think.”
“Oh yeah, Bunny.”
Sonny looked at his surroundings and let out a hefty “pfft.”
“So this is what I’ve been replaced with? A place with framed pictures of celebrities? I’m sorry but if I want to see a celebrity I use my imagination, thank you very kindly. And a free refill soft drink dispenser? Are we just giving diabetes away now, is that it? And what is this? A jukebox? In a restaurant? Last time I checked I was in the town of Barrannanngga, not Silly-ville!”
“We’re sorry Mr. Sonny, but you gotta try their sandwiches!” yelled Yoram the Yeast Mill Gardener. “They taste like nothing I’ve ever tasted before! And I’m pretty well traveled; I once went to the IGA two towns over when the BiLo was closed.”
The other customers made loud impressed noises.
“OK, fine, fine!” Sonny turned to the counter. “Please may I have one of your ham sandwiches?”
“Excellent choice sir,” the well groomed robot employee responded, pressing a button on the wall.
Two seconds later, a packaged ham sandwich popped out of the same wall. Sonny opened the packet, took a bite and immediately spat it out.
“Bah! It tastes so manufactured! Where’s the love? The kindness? I can’t taste any benevolence at all!”
Suddenly a figure exited from the back room.
“Well hey there champ, what seems to be the problem-o?”
“Gasp!” Phillip the Crocodile Juicer gasped. “It’s Grant Smackbang, the CEO of Ultra Sandwich World! I read all about him in Grant Smackbang, the CEO of Ultra Sandwich World Magazine.”
“Guilty as charged, ha ha! Hey how you peeps likin’ your sangas, eh?”
Everybody cheered except Sonny, who lightly punched the counter, causing a straw to move slightly. The crowd gasped, not used to such a violent outburst from Sonny.
“I’m sorry for vandalising your property, Mr. Smackbang, but sandwiches are not meant to be packaged, they are not meant to come from a robot, and they are certainly not meant to be referred to as sangas!”
“Well soz, buddaroo, but here at Ultra Sandwich World, we do things a little differently! It is the 21st cent’ after all!”
Several of the townsfolk got out their planners to take note of this fact.
Sonny sighed and began to leave the premises, taking one last look at his former customers. He looked at Fat Frederick and remembered the first time he’d introduced the boy to his signature pork and cucumber sandwich; he turned his gaze to Sergeant O’Callaghan and recalled when he’d served him up one of his famous kipper and carrot sandwiches after the then assistant sergeant had spent a long day stapling police paperwork; and he gazed over at Penny the Pencil Saleswoman, and reminisced over the time she kissed him on the cheek after a particularly well crafted pickles and parsley sandwich had made her day just that little bit grander.
“You know what?” Sonny stopped in his tracks. “I won’t leave.”
“No worries, dude-o, I wasn’t asking you t—”
“Because I’m the real sandwich maker in the town, sir! I’m the one that knows these people, and they deserve more than this! So I challenge you to a sandwich making competition! The winner gets to stay open, the loser has to leave town!”
Grant Smackbang shrugged.
“Well, why to the not! Sounds radi-cool! You’re on! Like radishes on rye!”
Sonny laughed to himself.
“Radishes…on rye?! Oh you are going so down, my fine fellow.”
Thadeus the Town Trumpeter blew his saxophone and cried “Let the sandwich off begin!”
Sonny and Grant rushed to their workstations. Sonny began furiously buttering, applying seasonings, and wiping surfaces, while Grant pressed a few buttons on a remote while sipping a root cola and signing autographs.
Roxette the Town Sandwich Competition Commentator began commenting on the proceedings.
“Ooh, interesting technique by former town hero Sonny here, cutting his sandwiches into triangles, whereas the CEO of Ultra Sandwich World, Grant Smackbang, is going with the more unique approach of using a futuristic sandwich making device.”
The crowd oohed and ahhed.
“Oh and would you look at that, we only have two seconds left on the clock!”
Sonny finished applying the last of his cheese slices, when he realised he hadn’t grilled the bottom side of the bread. He gasped and leapt into action, throwing the sandwich onto the grill device as the siren blared. He wiped his brow and sighed with relief.
“Those were some super doozy cruisy moves there, rock star!” Grant called over to Sonny, giving him a double thumbs up.
Sonny scowled at him.
“OK, it’s now time for the taste testing!” Roxette announced. “The mayor, the town beauty queen, and the town duck will be the judges, as is tradition.”
Miss Smiles the Town Beauty Queen went first, biting into Grant’s Patented Cheezo Supreme 3000 Sanga.
“Oh my God, like, it tastes sooooo good!”
She then took a bite of Sonny’s old fashioned grilled cheese delight.
“Oh my God, but this like, tastes even better! Like, yeah, totes Sonny, yeah!”
“What on Earth is the silly lass saying?” cried Sonny.
“Like I’m giving my vote to you, dude, like, duh.”
Sonny beamed widely, until Grant patted him on the back, causing the beam to become a grimace.
As the people of Barrannannga clapped, the mayor bit into Sonny’s sandwich, and a warm smile enveloped on his chubby old face, as if he’d just received a hug from Christmas. He then bit into Grant’s sandwich, and looked absolutely disgusted, like a homeless dog had defecated into his freshly ironed plaid trousers.
“Ladies and gentlemen…we spent the last four decades worth of town meeting donations to afford this new restaurant, so for the sake of me being able to sleep at night just a little; I’m afraid I must give my vote to Grant Smackbang.”
As applause rang out, Sonny sighed heavily and, along with everybody else in town, turned his attention to the third and final judge- Swanny, the town duck.
Swanny pecked at Sonny’s masterfully created work of wonder, and then gobbled away at the sugary additive filled piece of commercialism that was Grant’s sandwich.
Everyone stared in intense anticipation.
Swanny waddled up to the microphone.
Everybody lost their crap. Fat Frederick took off his shirt and made wooping noises, Sergeant O’Callaghan shot his gun in the air with joy, and Willy the Wheelmaker did one of his world famous jigs.
As Sonny was hoisted up on Benny the Bicycle Shiner and Carlos the Cow Counter’s shoulders, to cheers of “We love you Sonny!” and “We’re sorry we left you for the new place, Sonny! You’re the best sandwich maker after all!” and “Yay!”, he locked eyes with Grant Smackbang.
“Ace work, my main man with the plan!” Grant finger gunned him. “A dealio’s a dealio, I’ll be on my wa–”
“JUST LEAVE!” screamed Mrs. Beverleys.
Grant awkwardly packed his things and left.
Sonny looked around at his favourite townsfolk, customers, and friends and smiled.
He fisted the air, sprained his shoulder, screamed, and collapsed.
He never made sandwiches again.