“Honey, what are these for?” she asked.
She picked up a warm, paper-wrapped disc out of a box full of them.
“Those?” he said. “Don’t touch those. Those are for Halloween. They’re for the neighborhood kids.”
“These are hamburgers,” she said.
“It’s actually roast beef,” he said. “From Arby’s. The Brown Sugar Bacon & Roast Beef Sandwich. But, yeah, I thought we’d do something different this year. Spice things up.”
“You can’t possibly be serious,” she said.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because,” she said, “these are sandwiches. Every year you try to switch things up and every year we get soap on our windows. Remember 2013? You gave out Dixie cups full of sweet tea.”
“Topped with Torani syrup,” he said. “Let me make an argument here. The Arby’s Brown Sugar Bacon & Roast Beef Sandwich is sweet as hell.”
“Yes, I remember,” she said. “I had one too.”
“It’s so sweet, it’s pretty much just like eating candy,” he said. “Weird to think that, right? Because it’s got roast beef in it. It’s also got vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce. And cheese and a Dijon sauce. But you had one too. The sugar bacon is insanely sweet. You remember how everything spun out of control so quickly? I took a few bites and I immediately was looking for an Oompa Loompa to come stuff me into a sack.”
“The brown sugar bacon was good and thick but the sugary glaze is so strong that it’s the only quality that stands out. There is no smokiness or discernible meat flavor, just a chewy texture and sweetness. The texture of the entire sandwich is pretty good though, actually. The roast beef had a substantial feel and the whole thing is a pretty hefty gut bomb. The King’s Hawaiian bun has a pleasant softness that contrasts very nicely with the snap of the lettuce. The tomato is pretty limp though. You remember how sweet it was?”
“Yes,” she said. “And I am a fan of the normal roast beef sandwich. This really broke the orbit of flavor. The pile of roast beef was made dull, overshadowed by the sweetness of the bacon. It might as well have been paper mache. The sandwich just didn’t have the balance needed to pull it off.”
“There were a few bites of equal distribution of flavor in there and they were high points. But I would say there were only three or four instances of that. It’s hard to disregard the sweet tooth wet dream when even the bun has a sugary tinge to it. Although on the back half, I slathered on the Arby’s horseradish sauce and it made it a bit better.”
“I liked it with the horseradish sauce too,” he said.
“Did you plan to give out the sauce during Halloween too?” she asked.
“No. I didn’t know how to siphon it out of that little dispenser at Arby’s,” he said, sheepishly.
“You weren’t even going to add the stuff that made it halfway decent?” she asked.
He didn’t say anything.
“I know,” she said. “I know the sandwich tastes like candy. And it seems cool to do something for the sake of being different. But not everything has to be redefined to be on your terms. You’re part of this culture too, you know. Halloween is all of ours. It’s for everybody. You don’t have to change it to enjoy it. Just go with the flow. You’re not boring. You’re not predictable. You’re not a cliché. And even if you were, who cares?”
There was a pause. He stared out of the window.
“You’re right,” he said, his giant green fingers reflexively touched the bolts in his neck, then massaged his temples as he sighed. “You’re always right. Let’s just give away Twix this year. Full size.”
He paused again. “You know, for us, everyday is…”
“Yes, yes, honey,” she said, as she leaned on his shoulder, her lightning-struck hair brushed against his worn suit jacket. “For us, everyday is Halloween. I know. But seriously. It’s July. And you got a whole box of these!”
“I bought sixty of them,” he said.
She laughed. “What the heck are we going to do with all these sandwiches?”
“Let’s burn them,” he smiled.
They stacked them in the middle of the room and threw a lit matchbook into the pile. As it went up in flames, he suddenly remembered he feared fire and ran into the hills. She sighed.
(Nutrition Facts – 20 calories, 280 calories from fat, 32 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 170 grams of cholesterol, 1620 milligrams of sodium, 67 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, 42 grams of protein.)
Item: Arby’s Brown Sugar Bacon & Roast Beef Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.79
Purchased at: Arby’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Hefty. Good texture. Soft bun, crisp lettuce. Use horseradish sauce to help it taste more rounded.
Cons: Roast beef is dulled by sweetness. Expensive.