Would you like some tomateos with your luttuce?

It’s morning in America, and I’m pissed off at my local Speedway gas station.

Last Monday morning, I pumped some gas – no problem there – and then went inside to purchase some items; a couple of cans of Red Bull, some chips, and a slice of their breakfast pizza – which, by the way, is the best breakfast pizza in the area.

Brought everything up to the counter, and then I noticed … something’s missing.

Not from my purchases, mind you. Something’s missing from the counter.

The plexiglass shield, which exists to keep COVID from spreading from customer to cashier or from cashier to customer, was gone.

Okay … don’t know what’s going on … perhaps someone rubbed their greasy fingers on it, or sneezed on it, or wiped a booger on it, and the Speedway people had to take it down for cleaning.

“Where’s the barrier?” I asked the cashier.

“I took it down.”

“Any reason?”

“Yeah, I was getting sick and tired of getting cuts on my fingers from taking it down, cleaning it, and putting it back up. So it’s down. Besides, you’re wearing a mask and I’m wearing a mask, so we’re good, right?”

I purchased my stuff and left without another word.

Well, that Speedway’s in my personal doghouse for the foreseeable future. My safety is more important than his inconvenience.

But now I have a problem. For all my gripes about Speedway, they have the best breakfast pizza in the area. That, and the nearby Stewart’s that does sell breakfast pizza sells something that tastes like dried plaster with an egg-like topping.

Okay, I’ll have to find a new convenient tasty breakfast pizza place somewhere else.

So Wednesday morning, I’m on the road, headed from Green Island to Albany, and my stomach is growling. Yeah, I could fix a meal at home, I could do that, but I didn’t do that. Instead, I passed a small cafe on Broadway. Digital sign said “Breakfast … Pizza … Lunch …”

Oh, so they must have breakfast pizza. Okay, time to stop in.

Stopped in. No, they don’t have breakfast pizza, but they do have “breakfast” and “pizza,” but the pizza pies don’t get made until later.

Well, I’m here, let’s at least get an egg sandwich. Price was reasonable, egg sandwich, a couple of hash browns, and a diet cola. And as the employee made my breakfast, I looked up at the digital overhead menu to see what other items I might choose to order in the future. You know, if I want some lunch, or some dinner, or something else.

And it was then that I noticed … something’s not right here. Am I mis-reading the menu?

Roast beef and tomateos… Turkey and tomateos… Ham and tomateos…

Who’s operating this menu, Dan Quayle?

Hey, listen, there was once a time when a Vice President couldn’t spell “potato” and it was a national scandal.

Anyways, let’s check out the rest of the menu. Oh, I can get a BLT sub with tomoteos.

So wait, are tomoteos a distant cousin of tomateos?

Are they served with Oreos? Should I use oleo margarine on them? Or some Girl Scout Do-Si-Dos? Man, I keep this up, it’s going to sound like the end of a Car Talk episode where John Buggsy Lawler just came back from some fancy pun-and-rhyme eatery.

Fine, fine, let’s let it go. Maybe there’s something on the other digital menu board.

Okay, on this one things look more reasonable. In fact, I could get a hot fish sub with tomato, mayo and luttuce.

Yeah. Look at entry #9. Luttuce.

As in “Luttuce pray that nobody catches these typos in our menu board.”

My breakfast sandwich is done. I paid for my food and was out the door.

The sandwich was okay … a decent choice for brekkie … but it ain’t a breakfast pizza. Not a good, gooey breakfast pizza where the cheese still melts off the top of the crust. And you get that cheese and egg and sausage flavor to it.

Ah, screw it. Until I find a decent breakfast pizza place, or at least one where I know they’ve got protection for its workers and its customers, I’ll get my morning munchies at Eggy’s Place off Erie Boulevard.

Hey, maybe Eggy can make me one of his Eggywich sandwiches with tomoteos and luttuce.

Yes? No?