We’ve all been here before. A cashier gives us a total

that’ll be $18.77

and with utter delight and pure ignorance we reply

1877 huh? that was a good year

A smile creeps across your lips as you relish in your humour. How brilliant! How original! Most importantly, how funny!

My story begins when my little brother and I go to lunch on Tuesday. Fed up with standard fare, we venture downtown to Siegfried’s Delicatessen. A wonderful place to eat if you’re in the area. Even if you’re not, it’s something you should make pilgrimage to at least once. If not this German deli then some local German deli. Delicious food.

At Siegfried’s one can get a real taste of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Not saying that the cooks and servers are mean, but it is similar in many ways. Firstly, there is always a bit of a line. You do have to know how to order or you’ll hold the line up and possibly get a stern look. Stern looks always pierce me harder than words. Next you order from one person, your plate gets handed down the assembly line to add on your spaetzle or rotkohl or what-have-you (my dad loves their what-have-you). Once your plate is complete you take your tray to the cash register and pay quickly and then you are free to enjoy your schweinsteak and a hard roll. It’s not mean or cold service, it’s just German and efficient.

We completed the ordering with no snags and I was ready to nom on some fried potatoes. The paying part is the easiest part by far, so I’m confident.

$19.15 she says.

Without a beat I say
1915 huh? Good year.

Regret followed quickly. You’re in a German deli! Don’t make history jokes! Don’t reference years! Just smile and thank them for the delicious sauerkraut.

1915? she says.
That was not a good year for my people. Armenian genocide.

If you have seen A Few Good Men you know the scene with Jack Nicholson talking to Tom Cruise about his father and he asks

How the hell is your dad Dan?

and Tom says
He’s dead, sir.

The look on Nicholson’s face I mimicked exactly as I said to myself his next line

Well, don’t I feel like the fuckin’ asshole?

I did. I felt awful. A stupid line I know most of us say in an attempt to be cute or ironic. I think next time I am given a total I will simply say “Thanks for letting me stop by”.

So to you, patrons of this blog, thanks for stopping by.