## Wednesday, 10 August 2011

### House guests, Smoked Meat, and a Helpful Equation

Monday morning at the water cooler.  N regaling me with tales of weekend house guests featuring dog pictures on a cell phone, too much scotch and a single face cloth.

Story gets even weirder.

House guests hail from quite a distance, and have always wanted to try pastrami, corned beef smoked meat. N and husband trek down to the mecca.  Park, wait in line.

Visitors reluctant to order for themselves.  I understand.  Sandwiches notoriously complicated.  Much to consider.  Lean. Or not.

N pauses the story.  "Let me ask you something.  If you were to order smoked meat sandwiches for a group, how many would you order?"

"How many were you?"

"Five."

"Five? Six?"

"They wanted to split a sandwich."

"You mean split their second sandwich?"

"No.  The three of them and one sandwich."

I have never actually heard of three people splitting one sandwich.  And a smoked meat sandwich on top of it? I am not sure whether to call Ripley's Believe it or Not, the Guinness Book of World Records, or 911.

In fact, I told N, I have an equation for ordering smoked meat sandwiches.  It's {[(number of people + 1)sandwiches] + [(number of people-2) fries]}.

My family went through a stage of picking up deli on a fairly regular basis and I found someone was always hunting through wax paper for that last salty hit of nitrates, and I routinely had bags of fries ziplocked optimistically in my freezer.  And a mathematical solution was born.  Try it, you'll thank me.

We have all had house guests.  And we have all come to understand that people have quirky habits that you never really know about until you spend time under the same roof.

I can handle the dog glamour shots.  The scotch.  Hell, I can even ignore a few facecloth infractions.  But sharing a smoked meat sandwich three ways?

That's unnatural.