Turkey & Cheese Croissant — Student Bookstore, CSU Los Angeles

Ah, the prepackaged sandwich. I stood in line at the student bookstore, holding this item, and for the life of me couldn’t understand why. Purchased on a whim, I knew, with certainty, that I was in for an absolutely dismal experience. Visions of my colleague’s recent nightmare raced through my head.

Here, however, is our lesson for the day with regard to sandwiches. The lesson of experience surpassing expectation. It does not happen often. All too often, the sandwich falls well short of its potential, or is precisely what you expect, which is its own specific kind of disappointment — the disappointment of mediocrity.

When I opened this sad little package, I was surprised by two things: the first was that the croissant was moist and flaky, rather than the dry and crumbly mess I anticipated. The second issue was the cheese. I had expected — nay, known — that there would be one horrifying square of freakishly orange cheese topping off the affair. Imagine my shock when I saw instead a large, oval slice of what appeared to be genuine provolone — or near enough, at any rate. This sandwich, as with my recent experience at Billy’s was packaged with a packet of mayonnaise, and a packet of mustard. This, of course, is the standard for boxed sandwiches.

The sandwich was not bad at all, much to my endless stupefaction. Certainly, this was far from a “good” sandwich, but when one’s expectation is set at a 1, sometimes a 4 or 5 is heaven on earth.