Weird Foods and Loneliness: The Ham Salad Situation

April 12, 2013

You guys ever had ham salad?

For those of you who don’t know what ham salad is — I didn’t always know what it was, so, just to be clear. Ham salad is just like tuna salad, if tuna salad were wrong. Now, I love tuna salad. I’m not even at all ashamed to say that I think tuna salad is bomb, even though I know that you all know that it’s really just tuna mixed with mayonnaise. I get the grossness of that, I do; but it’s great. It’s delicious. It’s normal.

But. The same properties do NOT apply to ham salad, which is just like tuna salad, but with ham.


See what I mean? As much as it’s ok to mix tuna with mayonnaise and slap it on a sandwich for a good time, it’s just NOT ok to mix ham with mayonnaise, and I don’t care who you are.

Which leads me to my next point, which is that I do KNOW who you are, ham salad lovers.

I used to be a deli girl; I worked at a deli. But I don’t mean a cool, funky deli with lattes and sandwiches – I mean the deli counter at a grocery store, with meats and bowls of “salads” that we spooned out of tubs every morning. On each morning that I opened the deli, one of my first jobs was to grab the tubs – which could also be described as “vats” – from the giant fridge, and then cradle each vat with one arm and use the other arm to spoon the contents into a display bowl, which was placed amongst fake lettuce in the display case. Then, over the course of the day, I was required to periodically stir those bitches, because otherwise a crust would form on the top. Let’s just consider a “salad” that can form a crust for a minute, ok?

Anyway, when I started at the deli I just assumed that the ham salad wouldn’t be a big seller. BUT I WAS WRONG! People bought it. It was like – we had half pound, one pound, or two pound containers (I’d be like “Hi yup! We have these half pound, one pound, or two pound containers. How many people are you entertaining?” I was great.) And sometimes people legitimately came in and purchased two pound containers filled to the brim with ham salad.

But these weren’t just any people. A nice mother of two wouldn’t come in and get a pound of land-o-lakes and then a pound of ham salad; no no. I could tell from a mile away when someone was gonna ask me to scoop out a pound of ham salad, even if I had forgotten to toss it recently and a crust had formed on top, even if the ham salad was at its very, very grossest. I could always tell.

Here’s why: I could tell because he or she was weird as fuck. Usually sort of disheveled and wearing some kind of cotton pants, the kind that are baggier on the top than the bottom. Clearly this person had only left the house FOR the ham salad, to then return to eat it among his or her cats/other gross animals while watching weird, lonely TV shows. What could I do? I simply had to comply and offer a sad smile as I slapped the price label onto the container, and try to impart some compassion as I handed it over. The customer would shuffle away, and I’d be left to wonder if the person’s spouse had left when the ham salad smell became too much, or if the spouses’ disappearance had driven the person to the saddest, grossest item at the deli counter, carefully scooped into a plastic container by yours truly.

Do people eat ham salad because they are lonely? Or are they lonely because they eat ham salad?

We may never know. But I’m certain of this: to avoid a sad fate, avoid ham salad. Don’t allow it in your life. Don’t be weird. Come on guys. Just stay away from it. BE COOL.

Read the original article and get your warning again on the Peppercat.

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