That Time I Almost Got a Free Sandwich in Alaska

There was that time that I almost got a free sandwich in Alaska.

I was so hungover, but we had paid for the cruise the day before—seventy-five bucks and I wasn’t about to lose it. I’m pretty sure we had to be to the dock by 7am. Our company from the night before definitely hadn’t left our hotel room much sooner than that. One long night full of partying and group sex left Rodrigo with a broken foot and thankfully an empty asshole—I had been concerned that we might not ever get the dildo out of there.

It was four hours into the cruise and we had finally made it to the glacier. Just Rodrigo’s friend Smith and I; Rodrigo had to turn back because of his foot. He had stumbled from a high roof to a low roof the night before trying to take a piss off of it. His foot, we would later learn, was broken and inflating into something which resembled something which the English call aubergine every minute; he couldn’t get comfortable. So Rodrigo limped back to our hotel and I took in the cushiness of the seats while Smith made beautifully innocent and platonic friendships with the other passengers of the cruise. I knew that my hands still smelled of my friend’s genitalia from the night before, even the group shower couldn’t wash away those memories.

The folks that were our hosts on this boat ride were two men. John and…another guy, I can’t remember his name.Throughout the cruise they would make an announcement when there was something of interest to view: an iceberg, an Orca whale, a black bear mama and her cub. I thank them for these announcements because it allowed me to sleep through the monotony and not miss a beat.

When we finally arrived at Tracy Arm glacier—the glacier that was at the end of the fjord (I had only learned what a fjord was the week before), my nausea had subsided and I was absolutely starving. This is when they announced that we could order sandwiches for $5. I watched as the other passengers went up and I waited until I was entirely comfortable with the protocol to go up and place my order. I order a turkey and Swiss with mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. I didn’t expect much.

After some wait and experiencing the sonic thunder which resulted from the glacial calving (another term I learned while bopping around Juneau), my sandwich was delivered to me. It was perfect in every way and I gave it the photo shoot which it deserved in front of the ancient ice —really focusing on highlighting all of the beautifully portioned ingredients. The other passengers observed my project and giggled with approval. When I finally took the photo that this sandwich deserved, I fine-tuned the saturation and shadows slightly before presenting it to John. (Not the sandwich maker but the other cruise host. I think he had an interest in ruffling my bed sheets.)

“John,” I said. “Look at this! You could use this photo for a promo!”

I showed John and a number of my boat-mates the picture. “Beautiful,” they would say, with a smirk as cheesy as my Swiss. The blue of the glacier really shown through.

“Yeah, I think we probably could,” John replied.

“I’ll sell it to ya...a thousand bucks,” I suggested with my best ‘pull-out-your-wallet’ grin.

John laughed. “How about...a free sandwich?”

I thought about it for a moment, weighing out my options. “Sounds good to me!” I declared excitedly.

And that’s when the unnamed host stepped in, let’s just call him Spencer—I’ve never met a Spencer whose company I’ve enjoyed. Yes, his name must have been Spencer.

“Just so you know, that offer is absolutely not valid,” said Spencer, not amused.


I ate my delicious, totally-worth-the-$5-I-ended-up-having-to-spend-on-it sandwich in silence as the seals played on the icebergs in front of me. And then I settled in for the long nap which would accompany my four hour cruise back to Juneau to take care of my one-able-footed lover.

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