I’ve spent the past half-week fighting off that stupid cold virus that’s been beating up my co-workers and friends (“that’s a pretty big virus”) and it’s taking its toll.

My days have consisted of work and sleep, with intermittent periods of eating and the occassional email exchange with friends. Lots and lots of sleeping. In fact, I’ve spent more time asleep since Sunday than I have at work. No, I’m not sleeping at work, although a couple of floors down in the building where I work is a little room with a cot and an alarm clock that’s expressly there for the purpose of taking a quick nap at work if necessary (I love the county sometimes).

I haven’t been running, either, because running lowers the immune system or something and I want to fight this crappy giant cold virus (I picture it being much like a red-orange-yellow beach ball, with spikes) so I can get back to running and breathing and enjoying things like coherent thought and not blowing my nose and such.

The world takes advantage of my confused, doped-up-on-over-the-counter-medication state by dangling things that might relieve this misery a tiny bit and then sliming it in gelatinous oozing confusion. I wanted some soup for lunch. Soup. Simple hot liquid with something tasty in it. Kinda hard to find downtown, but I walked past this sandwich place I’ve been meaning to try and, sure enough, on a little sandwich (ha-ha) board out on the sidewalk they list their “specials”:

Grilled: Roast Beef, cheddar, roasted red pepper, red onions, blah, blah, I’m losing focus here… Soup: Black Bean

Coolio! Soup and a sandwich. I walk in. To my doom.

I see that they have two“soup and sandwich” items on the menu: both of them have a 12 oz. soup, but one is a “half” and one is a “whole”. Obvious first question: How big is a half? I ask the counter girl that, and she pauses.

“Uh… well” she hems and haws, making vague size motions with her hands “it’s, uh, half of a whole sandwich…”

A bespectacled boy with a blonde soul patch pokes his head out from behind an oak wall, holding a loaf of bread in his hands, muttering something that may have seemed, to him and the counter girl, to be an answer to my question. Already confused, I decide to order a “whole” and hope I don’t get a “whole” loaf of bread. I guess I could save it for dinner. They’d better not charge me more than the menu’s stated price of $8.25, though.

“OK, I’ll take your roast beef and black bean special.” I state this as decisively as the phlegm in my throat allows.

Again, counter girl looks lost. “Um… well, you’ll have to” she hands me a little clipboard with a chart full of options on it “fill this out.”

“I can’t just order the special?”

“You can customize it however you want.” She replies. I step aside to study my options, getting a bit frustrated.

Roast Beef wasn’t even an option on the menu. A sign hanging over the register explains that if I want Roast Beef or Pastrami that I’ll have to write it in, and apologizes for the menus being confusing. Yay. Some validation. Yes, yes, I am confused.

I manage to fill out their devilish form with only a couple of mistakes. I accidentally checked an option that made the counter girl think I wanted the “Kid’s brown bag” special, when instead I wanted the “whole sandwich and soup” special. I also marked “Orange” on one part and “apple” on another for my choice of fruit, but I did that on purpose to highlight how confusing the menu was. Either I was too subtle or not subtle enough because it went right over countergirl’s head.

I probably won’t go back, even though the soup was pretty good. The sandwich was average and the oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie was kinda thin. And, no, I didn’t get a whole loaf sandwich, either, so the value… not so good.

I just wanted some soup, dammit.