Collage 4" x 6"
A sandwich shop named Captain Nemo's sits on Ashland Avenue just north
of Addison in Chicago. I have never seen a single patron in there. How
it has managed to stay in business all these years is a mystery to me.
Last Wednesday on a whim I went there. Even though it was noon I was
the only patron to be seen. I approached the counter and a distinguished
if gruff looking man leaned over the cash register and growled, "What
will you be having, accursed land dweller?" I looked up at the
menu on the wall behind him and was overwhelmed with my options. "What's
good here?" I asked. He glowered at me and muttered something about
mankind being doomed.
"Try the Leviathan," he offered.
"Is that big?" I asked.
He raised a clenched fist to his forehead and rapped on it. I was having
a hard time deciding.
"Ummmm....Let's see....ummm....I'll have a Nautilus, hold the mayo."
He let out a sigh and rung up my meal on the cash register.
"Can I assume, vile specimen of humanity, that you will be wanting
a beverage?" he asked.
"I'll have a large...No...a medium regular Coke. Do I get free
He shot me a steely gaze and jabbed his thumb over his shoulder indicating
the menu behind him. It read "No Free Refills."
He rang a bell and it was then that I noticed the window behind the
counter encased in thick glass. A short order cook moved slowly through
water behind it. The counterman turned around and mouthed "Nautilus.
No mayo!" The deep-sea diver/short order cook gave a thumbs up
sign and wandered off into the murk. Standing there waiting for my sandwich
I tried to be sociable.
"So, how's business?"
The cashier grumbled."I rue the day I was forced to open this damned
eatery to finance the repairs of my submarine."
"You a Navy man?" I asked.
He shook his head in disgust. "May Nepture strike me dead if I
ever used his realm to engage in the folly of men. No, I am a man of
Well, I didn't really know how to respond to that reply so I just nodded.
A moment later there was a tap on the glass and the cashier using a
fishing pole reeled in my sandwich. He dropped the soaking wet bread
and meat onto the counter, tossed a bag of shrimp-flavored chips next
to it and produced an empty paper cup from somewhere behind the counter.
"Your patronage is a necessary evil, but appreciated" he said
pushing the food toward me.
Even though my sandwich was soggy and the the cook had put on mayo,
it wasn't half bad. In fact, I'm thinking about going back next week.