We drove seven miles to one of our favorite little restaurants, anticipating a tasty delight and a bargain.
The special of the day, advertised in the local shopping guide, was a tuna salad sandwich. We made our journey because of it. Previous experiences were that the sandwich, when designated the special, was very good and came with choices—soup, salad, or fries and sometimes combinations of two of the three, plus a bottomless drink.
The restaurant owner seated us, took our drink order, and announced as she walked away, “Oh, the special today is a taco salad.” We knew a taco salad concocted in that restaurant’s kitchen was anything but special.
“Isn’t today’s special tuna salad?” I asked. “No, they made a mistake. I don’t know how they got tuna salad into that ad,” said the restaurateur. I said that was very disappointing, because we had a hankering for tuna salad. I spoke slowly, giving the lady every opportunity to authorize the advertised special for us. She did not.
A bit later, our waitress appeared. I inquired about the tuna salad special. She laughed, and said, “Isn’t that the darndest thing?” Again, I described our affection for the sandwich, and added the fact that we had driven miles out of our way for it. The waitress seemed a little surprised when we asked for more time to study the menu.
We actually discussed walking out. Instead, we wasted some time perusing the menu believing there was a pretty good chance the waitress would reappear and offer us tuna salad sandwiches as advertised. She reappeared without any special deal. I ordered a tuna salad sandwich anyway, and said, “That’s what the special would be if it really was the special, wouldn’t it?”
“Yes,” said the waitress. That was almost correct; it cost 30 percent more than the price for specials, and included only one optional side dish. The drink was extra.
On the way home, beautiful wife Sandy and I decided it will take one helluva special offer to lure us back to that restaurant. I might even be forced to learn how to make tuna salad.