Today for lunch I was really craving a bagel with tuna salad, a staple in most New York delis. When I lived on the Upper East Side, I’d get one from Pick-a-Bagel or the more expensive Sable’s, if I felt like splurging.
There’s no Pick-a-Bagel around here so I popped into a nearby cafe which makes a big deal about serving organic, fair-trade coffee. But they also have sandwiches and, yes, bagels.
I said to the girl, “Could I get a bagel with tuna salad?” to which the girl replied, “Tuna salad. . .on a BAGEL???” like it was the weirdest fucking thing she ever heard.
“Yes,” I said. “Tuna salad on a bagel.”
“So, like a sandwich, but with a bagel?”
She bent over the cash register, trying to figure out how to ring me up. “That’ll be $10.95.”
She explained that the sandwich platters came with salad, hence the ridiculous price.
“All I want,” I said, “is a bagel with tuna. Like instead of a bagel with butter, imagine a bagel with tuna.” I didn’t say “imagine” but really wanted to.
She finally figured it out.
I mean, I know it’s not so common around here, but you have bagels, you have tuna salad – voila, you have a bagel with tuna salad.