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Blog: SOBway Sandwiches?

(originally written 9/25/18)

Free stuff is great. Who doesn't want free stuff? 
Some of my prized possessions were free, like the massive box of baseball cards my boy Andy flat-out GAVE me about five years ago. Or the valuable sports mags my auntie Flo sends my way every so often. Can't forget the free grub from a closing McDonald's one night.

Even my tablet—one day, it was just there in my apartment. I don't know where it originated. Nobody else has claimed it. There was no collar to track down an owner. It is now property of Skillz.

However, I rarely solicit free stuff. Maybe if it's headed for the dumpster, I'll raise a hand. 
Back in the 00's I had a colleague who would half-demand free food from certain restaurants on our route who'd been generous in the past—ruining it for the rest of us, of course.
Before you ask, trust me: he was acting out of entitlement, not need. 


But I'm not here to talk about the past.
I'm here to discuss 9/9/18, the day I walked out of a local Subway with free chips. 
Here's how:

After a night of short sleep, and a fairly busy morning, I decided to power-nap before entering the restaurant for my BMT on Italian Herb and Cheese. Just one problem: the power nap dragged on for 40+ minutes.
Undeterred by my heavy eyes and heavy yawns, I dragged myself in and ordered.

The employee worked...cautiously. She kept looking up at me as she built the sandwich, as if something was not quite right. Maybe even a little suspicious. I didn't really care; my mind was on munchtime.
Once she finished the sandwich, I put a bag of chips on the counter and waited to be rung up. My total was smaller than it should have been; "Did you ring up the chips?" I asked. Say what you will about me...I'm no thief.

The girl replied solemnly: "Oh, no, don't worry about it."

Obviously, I wasn't complaining about the free chips, but where I grew up people just aren't nice to others for no reason. I almost left $2 anyway, but the last time I pulled a stunt like that, I offended a nice woman. So I thanked the employee and got the hell out.
Before driving away, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror...and it all made sense.

I have skin breakouts, and often apply a cream called Triamcinolone to combat irritation on my face. It's clear, and it's shiny—apply enough, and one's face looks wet, as if coated in tears.

I'd applied that cream before leaving for Subway.
And remember: my eyes were red and moist from the sleeping and yawning...

How about that?
I scored a free bag of Sun Chips because the sandwich artist thought I'd been outside sobbing.
A show of kindness based on a mistake. I mean, all of us Niner fans were happy they won earlier, but come on.

At the end of the day, free chips do taste better, and I briefly considered stocking up on onions and patroning all 422 Subway's in the Bay Area for bonus goodies, but word spreads fast in this social media era, and who wants to be known as "Fat Onion Boy"?

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