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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Baloney Sandwich

         When Fred got arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff's deputies, he was the first one to admit that it was his fault and the deputies were completely justified to have hauled him in to jail.  He wouldn't have said it at the time it was happening, but after the fact, when he was thinking a bit more clearly, he said they did what they had to do and he wasn't mad at anyone really.

        Fred and some of the other guys he knew had decided to have a lost weekend camping on the wild side of the Chilhowee Lake, the part that is in the Cherokee National Forest.  They figured taking a boat across to the side that wasn't near a highway would be secluded and no one would be around to bother them while they got drunk and crazy.

        They were already getting pretty rowdy even before they found their camping spot in a small cove that allowed them to set up where they wouldn't be visible to anyone on the opposite side of the lake.  They'd been smoking pot, drinking beer, and maybe even indulging in some other unspecified substances.  Once they'd set up camp they continued their partying, getting as loud and crazy as they wanted to be.  After all, nobody could see them here and they just wanted to let loose.

         Just when the fun and nonsense was getting underway, there was an unwelcome intrusion.   A boat with two couples--probably students from one of the nearby colleges--came into the cove and they proceeded to unload their camping gear on the other side across from where the guys had already set up their camp. The interlopers had every right to be there, but the guys hooted and hollered and tried to be as obnoxious as they could so the couples might decide to find another campsite.

        The tactics didn't work and the young couples continued to set up their campsite.  Even when Tom stripped down to his skinny-assed nakedness and began howling like a lunatic, the couples barely paid attention.  That's when Fred, who was known for being very practical though not for always having the best judgment, disappeared into his tent and then reemerged with a pistol in his hand.  No one had known that Fred had the gun with him.  Perhaps he was scared of more threatening types than these students or maybe he'd brought it just in case there were any dangerous critters, but now he had it merely to scare off these unwelcome intruders.

        Needless to say Fred's ploy worked.  Brandishing the weapon accompanied by some intimidating words, Fred was successful in changing the students' minds and they quickly packed up their gear and were gone.  They guys were a bit flabbergasted by Fred's display, but relieved that they once again had the cove to themselves and resumed their revelries.

         What they didn't expect was the students having reported the incident to the cops.  They didn't even realize that the sheriff's department had a boat that they used to cruise the lake, but when they saw the boat approaching they could tell it was the police.  Fred retreated into his tent.  

           The other guys tried to act innocent when the deputies arrived, but the officers had a description of the culprit and insisted on checking the tents.  Soon they had Fred in tow with the pistol they had confiscated from him.  The guys watched wide-eyed as the Sheriff's Department boat recrossed the lake with Fred in their custody.

            Later Fred would tell the story about being taken to the Monroe County Jail.  He was under the influence of several substances and it took a few hours to become sober.  Being in the jail and getting processed for offenses that would end up costing him a good bit of money was a very unpleasant experience for him.   Likewise, the jail cell and the cot that he had to sleep on were very uncomfortable.

            However, he told about someone bringing him a baloney sandwich.   Fred hadn't eaten since breakfast and this sandwich was a truly welcome sight.   He described the sandwich in detail and how it was uniquely unlike any other baloney sandwich that he had ever eaten in his entire life.  To hear him describe the sandwich would make one wish they too could have a baloney sandwich just like the one the Fred had eaten on that evening in that jail cell.

            When telling this story, with the greatest gravity and intensity Fred would proclaim, "That was the best damn baloney sandwich I ever ate in my whole life."

            That's exactly what he would say and anyone hearing him say it would believe it to be the absolute truth.



  1. Makes me want a bologna sandwich, too!
    Great story! Were you one of the culprits in Fred's group?

  2. yeah, I want to know, who is Fred to you?

    I don't like bologna. I think it's also the worst-spelled word in English! :) But that sandwich looks good.

  3. This was so good Arlee, I suspected a ring of truth to the story. If not, YOU ARE really good!
    I only eat Bologna if it has mustard and smashed potato chips on it. Now you know what kind of person I am! LOL! Love Di ♥

  4. I guess if I were starving, a balogna sandwich would look good to me as well!

  5. Yeah, who is Fred? I've made 500 bologna sandwiches before, all for inmates :)

    Good story Lee.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. so, naughty Fred is shifting the emphasis from his own guilt to the unimportant sandwich :) Nice psychological element in the story :)

  7. Whoa! I'd better clear this one up right away since I see a common theme in the comments.

    Rae -- No, I was not involved in this story. I heard about it later.

    Tamara ---I guess "bologna" is an Italian or French word or something. "Baloney" is the American spelling. It's a weird word.

    Diana - I've heard of the potato chip condiment, but I'm a baloney purist when I eat it.

    Alex -- Have you ever had a really good baloney sandwich? Baloney is not my favorite either, but I've had some baloney sandwiches that were absolutely great.

    Jules -- Fred was a dear friend from high school who could get a bit wild at times. But he had a heart of gold.

    Dezmond -- I think he was just so hungry that the simple baloney sandwich was the main thing that stood out for him in the experience. He knew he was guilty. But yeah I guess in telling the story he shifted focus since there were already enough versions of the story going around.

  8. I love this story--just read it out loud to the people I'm with. It's always the little details that make the story work. I love the turn of phrase, as well: skinny-assed nakedness, the image of all the guys watching wide-eyed as Fred's hauled off!

  9. Well, I'll tell ya one thing, LEE, your friends weren't anywhere near as wild as my friends were. If my friends and I were getting wild in the wilderness, I can assure you no two civilized college couples would voluntarily camp nearby.

    One of two things would happen: The couples would take their boats to a far removed location without any urging on our part, OR - if they had a spirit of fun - they would ask if they could camp WITH US. (And we'd have replied, "Sure. Got booze?")

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. Great story! Guess the moral is "don't threaten people with guns while you're drunk and skinny assed naked in the wilderness" or you'll end up in the slammer with a bolonga sandwich! lol

  11. Is this just a story Lee? Or something more?

  12. Very entertaining story. It did make me hungry, though not for the sandwich as described, me being a veggie and all! As someone else has commented before me, it is the little details that really make the story. Really enjoyed this and very glad no one was hurt.

  13. It probably was the best damned baloney sandwich ever made! If I had any baloney in the fridge, I'd go make a sandwich right now.

    I loved this story. Funny. A bit tense. And with a happy ending.

  14. What a story. The things people do to appreciate a baloney sandwich!

  15. Kinda like how food always tastes best if you're camping? Something tells me that bologna sandwiches are a mainstay of the Monroe County jail.

  16. Fun stuff Lee! My parents were immigrants and I'd never even heard of bologna until I was in my teens. Can't stand the stuff! :)

  17. Engaging and amusing story....
    My appetite for sandwiches today has reached critical mass.

  18. Amie -- Thanks for the bit of critique. Glad it brought a smile.

    StMc -- Oh yeah? Well, my friends can beat up your friends....well back then maybe....maybe not so much now.

    Marguerite -- Yes, but maybe the sandwich is so good that it's worth getting tossed in the slammer for a night.

    Matthew-- Hmmmm. Well it is a story and a true story at that. And I guess maybe someone can read something else into it if they wanted. Maybe there are symbols and themes? Feel free to analyze it if you like--that would be a fun read.

    Golden Eagle -- Thanks!

    Happy Frog -- Nothing like a happy ending baloney sandwich story!

    Helen -- Baloney is not my favorite, but I've had some good baloney sandwiches--none were in the jailhouse though.

    Karen -- I had some crazy friends, but they've mostly mellowed out into happy family guys now.

    Debbie -- I'll bet the baloney sandwiches of the Monroe County Jailhouse are legendary throughout East Tennessee.

    Jemi -- You haven't had one of these baloney sandwiches. They would change your mind!

  19. Oh, man! I'm already craving salt water taffy because of one blog, and now-I want a baloney sandwich! Makes me think of warm sunny afternoons and childhood.....sweet.

  20. Andrew -- I get those sandwich days too sometimes.

    Words Crafter-- I read that salt water taffy post too and was kind of thinking about it, but I get kind of paranoid about my caps being pulled off or fillings being pulled out when I eat that chewy kind of stuff. But, oh, I do love salt water taffy. Mmmmm!

  21. I had to ask my husband what baloney He said it was a salami. Ya learn something everyday!

  22. He would have gotten in a lot of trouble if he did that now a days.

  23. Lynda --Baloney or bologna is a type of sausage similar to but usually milder then salami. There is a difference. It is also very similar to mortadella except without the white fat blobs in it.

    Emilee -- He got in quite a bit of trouble then. It cost him a lot of money to get out of it.

    And there was this message on FaceBook:
    Bill wrote:
    "Fred said several of the other inmates were related to him in some way. We referred to it as the "Tilson family reunion.""

  24. I love the word bologna. I say it often. This was great and I am sort of craving a bologna sandwich now. I like mine (this is from when I was a kid) on wonder bread, with mustard and lots of lettuce. I may have to word that out. LOL

  25. Great story and soooo Fred and Tom and the guys. I do remember hearing about the event when it happened but had forgotten any detail. Thanks for bringing up fond memories of a dear old friend.
    I've read through the comments and would recommend Balony on Rye bread with tomato and spinach and spicy mustard. I do like the crunched up potato chip concept. All jails in Tennessee, and probably in the rest of the country, have bologna as a main staple. I don't think any of them would be worth going to jail for.

  26. Very intriguing, Lee! Can't say that I'm into bologna sandwiches (at all), but I admit to being curious about trying the one Fred got. :)

  27. When young people do stupid things...
    As a vegan, that bologne sandwich would've lost its bologne!

  28. When life gives you lemons, make sure to enjoy the bologna sandwich. Awesome!

  29. Good think he wasn't arrested in Phoenix and taken to tent city. Their bologna sandwiches are made with one slice of expired meat. And Fred would have to eat it wearing pink underwear.

    Stephen Tremp

  30. What a load of baloney! lol! i want to eat a damn tasty baloney sandwich too now.

  31. Not a fan of bologna, but if I were hungry I'm sure it would be yummy. What a great story. I can see this unfolding.

  32. Oh, hell, we were always too drunk to fight.
    ~ D-FensDogg

  33. Considering Fred was on a mixture of substances, no wonder the sandwich was "baloney." ;-D

  34. Rashelle--I've been craving a good bologna sandwich since I wrote this and when I craving it doesn't end until I get what I've been craving.

    Lonnie -- I don't think I'd want to go to jail for any kind of meal.

    Kimberly -- I don't know for sure how good the jailhouse sandwich really was--it was probably more a matter of circumstance.

    L.Diane -- Actually Fred wasn't that young when he did this--he was old enough to know better. I think it's more a matter of sometimes people under the influence do stupid things.

    Carrie -- It's so good to see you back to visit! I hope you won't stay so scarce.

    Stephen Tremp -- I do know that Fred would not have appreciated the pink underwear.

    John -- Me too! I'm craving it.

    Carol -- Bologna is not usually my first choice, but when it's good, it's good.

    StMc -- So were my friends so I guess there'll be no fighting.

    Paula -- The entire incident turned into a bunch of baloney for poor Fred and all he got out of it was a stupid bologna sandwich and I got a good story to remember Fred by.

  35. It's breakfast time while I was reading this and I want a baloney sandwich!

  36. I'm still craving a baloney sandwich and by golly sometime this week I'm going to have one. When I get a craving it doesn't just go away.

  37. I was wondering why the couples were so calm & refused to leave!

    Bologna sandwiches taste good w/ white bread, LOTS of mustard & some lettuce. I hope that's what he got!

  38. Lisa-- My guess is that they felt that they had every right to be there and were just holding their ground. The gun probably brought it to a whole new level of seriousness.


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