Did I ask for your mayo/mustard order yet? Did I? Did I?

Despite hurricanes, Greek bank mergers, renegade presidential long-lost relatives with drinking problems and the omnipresent specter of Darryl Issa, we find ourselves strangely preoccupied by…Subway.  It appears that we have unwittingly failed somehow in our duty to Subway, and are puzzling about how this could have happened, and, now that we are better informed, what we can do about it.  Perhaps something similar has befallen you?  No?  Well, let us enlighten you.

There is an approved protocol for ordering at Subway, and, until recently, it’s been kept secret from all but the cognoscenti.  Violate this ritual and you suffer, albeit perhaps without knowing it, according to our friends at wikiHow:

Being a good Subway customer not only makes the process much faster, but it also makes the employees happier. In return, you will get a better quality sub, and a more friendly service. Follow these steps, and it will make everyone much happier.

Now, this is actually no simple thing.   In fact, the process involves no fewer than nine steps, if you include the admonition against talking on your cell phone while ordering (“This is quite rude!” say the folks at wikiHow) and the always-helpful instruction to “be courteous”  (don’t preface your requests with unflattering epithets or conclude with threats of bodily harm, I suppose; “Hey, mothaf**ker, gimme extra hot peppers or I’ll mace your sorry ass” is a no-no).

For some reason, mustard is very important, as it moves the normally-restrained wikiFolk to boldface type:

Answer the mayo mustard question after it is asked. Be specific as to type of mustard. “I’d like light mayo and honey mustard”.

I have no idea why this particular item enjoys such emphasis, but suspect that the author(s), whoever he, she or they may be, must work at a Subway, and that the whole mayo/mustard thing just creeps he/she/them out beyond any reasonable possibility of further tolerance.  “I mean, don’t they get it? Wait until we ask!”

Now, in a nation where people routinely open the calculator function on their smart phone to figure out a  20% tip, sitting down and memorizing the nine-step routine required to be a good Subway customer might seem a lot to ask, but if the folks at WikiHow think it’s important, we guess we’ll entertain it.

Still, it seems like this kind of thing can spin into a juggernaut of sorts,  given the number of fast-food outlets available to us, and the complex catechisms each one might then reasonably impose.  We already find Starbucks so intimidating we haven’t entered one ever since we forgot the bizarre size hierarchy (Grande?  Molto?  Mediumoso?) and were stared down by a — barrista?  baguette? — with the kind of scorn usually reserved for people who piss their pants in public.

Actually, we have little reason to go into a Subway, and probably will just let the whole thing slide through the trauma sieve of our memory, with only a small pang of guilt.  But consider this:

Someone has taken a fair amount of time, in all seriousness, to post on the web this hilarious soup-nazi nonsense.  According to wikiHow, it was most recently edited by “Maniac” (no shit), and prior to that, by Bkil, Flickety, and KnowItSome .   In fact, KnowItSome’s contributions to this site are weighty enough to have earned this accolade:

Recognizing your continuing, excellent high-quality contributions that you make to wikiHow: Thanks for your superb, clear instructions helping educate thousands or millions. Your dedication to high quality is a shining example to all at wikiHow in your vital part of wikiHow’s mission, as you continue sharing your expertise so freely.

Well, there you have it.  To each his own.  What we sneering, supercilious snots here at The Daily Cannibal deride as triviality to the point of inanity, others view as “a vital part of [our] mission.”  Let us hope that the “millions” now so expertly “educated” will know, and know well, to wait until they are asked for their mayo/mustard preferences, so that peace may reign in the sandwich shops and harmony bless the condiment counters of all nations.