Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2005.
It seems cheese sandwiches have been in the news a lot during the last few months, but not always in a good way.
In November 2004, online casino GoldenPalace.com paid $28,000 on eBay for a 10-year-old partially-eaten cheese sandwich that bore the image of the Virgin Mary.
I saw pictures of the Virgin Mary Cheese Sandwich on their website, and while I agree there was a face on the sandwich, I don't necessarily believe it's the Virgin Mary. For one thing, I've never actually seen the Virgin Mary, so I can't actually be sure. But I've seen Stevie Nicks, and I think it looks more like her.
But Diana Duyser swears that for 10 years, the Velveeta vestal virgin has brought her enormous good fortune, including winning $70,000 at her local casino. She kept it on her nightstand in a plastic container.
GoldenPalace.com announced they will take the sandwich on a national tour and sell Virgin Mary Cheese Sandwich t-shirts to help raise money for various charities. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I can't help thinking that all this national attention will attract new gamblers along with it.
So while I applaud their efforts and sentiments, am I the only one who thinks it's odd that a gambling house has purchased a food item with the Holy Blessed Mother on it? Far be it from me to point fingers, but when a casino uses the mother of the Messiah to help attract new gamblers, I start looking for lightning.
All in all, it's a good cheese sandwich, at least in the "it won't get you tased" way.
On the other hand, convicted murderer Douglas Eugene Wilson got one of the bad kinds.
According to January 2005 Associated Press story, while Wilson was awaiting trial on murder charges, he was passing out cheese sandwiches to fellow inmates while he was in jail. A sheriff's deputy warned him not to do this, because it violated jail rules. When Wilson ignored the deputy, he was tased. He then reportedly charged the deputy and was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed.
Deputy: Hey, no distributing cheese sandwiches in jail!
Wilson: Why? It's just a cheese sandwich.
Deputy: I'm not going to warn you again. Drop the cheese sandwich and slowly step away.
Wilson: But it's not going to—
Stun Gun: ZZZZZZZZZZT!
Wilson was later convicted of murdering Lisa Chavez, and was sentenced to life in prison. In other words, he can't get out. Ever.
So it seemed a little unnecessary to then convict him of possession of contraband, and sentence him to three more years in prison. He did plead guilty to the lesser charge of possession of contraband in order to get the charges of second-degree assault and attempted second-degree assault dropped from charging the deputies, and then presumably trying to strike the deputy as his arms and legs were flailing from the shock.
I realize Wilson probably hopes he might someday get out of prison. But I would think there would be a point where you just need to give up and realize that life in prison means just that. Why would you even negotiate to remove charges? When you're going to spend the rest of your natural days in prison, what's another six years or so?
Judge: You are hereby sentenced to three additional years in prison.
Wilson: But I'm already in for life.
Judge: Oh. . .well, now you're going to a dirty prison filled with criminals.
Wilson: But I'm already—
Stun Gun: ZZZZZZZZZZT!
Contraband refers to things that should not be allowed in jail, like drugs, pornography, weapons, and cell phones. But I didn't know cheese sandwiches could be dangerous. Why else would they have needed stun guns to stop Wilson from passing them out?
"Nobody move! I've got a Cheddar and mayo on whole wheat, and I'm not afraid to use it!"
"Do what he says! That's got the Virgin Mary on it!"
Hopefully word of these new weapons won't reach the criminal element, or else we'll have bigger problems. Bank robbers will carry roast beef and mustard on a kaiser roll. You'll need a license and background check to be able to order lunch at your favorite Subway. And gun-toting Texans will soon replace their six-shooters with Reuben sandwiches.
Not to worry though. The police will keep us safe from all sandwich-brandishing evil-doers, because they're well-trained and dedicated to preventing crime and helping people.
And they've been arming themselves with bratwursts and Kielbasas to help keep the peace.
You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.