Home > Cuisine by Brian Schropp > THE BSU STRIKES! Brian Schropp on Cuisine

THE BSU STRIKES! Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Brian Schropp

It all began with me stopping at the ‘ShopSmart’ to pick up a few items for the book release party at the ‘Pizza-A-Round’. With the recent success of my book ‘Breakfast Sandwich Boy’ my manager, Scott wanted to see if he could possibly add his name to the Lankville bestsellers list. His book,’The Pizza Trade’ is a collection of stories told to me by Scott about the pizza business. There was a full out party staged in our dining area with balloons and cheap booze plus copies of the book for sale. With the purchase of the book you even get two free nuggets and a slice of cake (but you also have to spend $20 on menu items just to get in). So I was picking up some markers at the ‘ShopSmart’ in case someone wanted their book signed by Scott. I was really hoping this would be a success. I would hate to see the fallout if no one shows; Scott had already been drinking the whole day just trying to get his nerves under control.

The cover of Scott's exciting new book 'The Pizza Trade'

The cover of Scott’s exciting new book ‘The Pizza Trade’

With markers in hand, I decided I was also a bit hungry (it was a full four blocks I walked from the ‘Pizza-A-Round) and went to grab a delicious ‘ready made’ breakfast sandwich. I recognized the cashier on duty– he belonged to the BSU (Breakfast Sandwich Underground) and gave a discount to others of his kind when purchasing a breakfast sandwich. The cashier (who I will not name) wasn’t very talkative but I really didn’t give the matter a second thought. It wasn’t until I was almost out the door that I noticed I wasn’t given any discount. I went back to see what happened.

“Say (name withheld), I think you forgot to give me that club card discount for the sandwich.” I exaggerated a few winks since we couldn’t talk freely with other Non-BSU’s around.

The cashier didn’t respond- just shook his (or her!!) head while ringing out another customer. Thinking maybe it was just a bad day for this person I left again putting it out of my mind. I was a block or so up the street when I heard the screech of tires from the street behind me and looked back to see a rather large older model car round the corner (knocking a trash can off the sidewalk) and advancing to where I was standing. The driver side window rolled down and I could clearly see three folks in this jalopy (two in the front and one in the back). All were also known members of the BSU.

“Get in Bri,” the driver said while the back door on my side was thrown open. The other two were looking around to see who was watching.

“What’s going on guys? I don’t have time- there is this book signing at work I need to–”

“I SAID GET IN!”

The one who was in the back reached out quickly and gave a hard tug on my sleeve. I knew better than to try and mess around with these folks. Before I even had my door closed the car was racing off taking yet another sidewalk too closely and almost hitting a family. The one in the back snatched the bag out of hands and started to go through it taking out the markers and asking me what they were for.

“For Scott, my manager, he’s going to sign copies of his book–”

The person chuckled. “That loser knows nothing about food. What breakfast sandwich options do you guys have on your menu there?”

“None I guess but I don’t know why—-HEY!!”

unnamedHim/her rolled down the window and threw the markers out. The next thing from the bag was my breakfast sandwich. “Thought you would of had this eaten by now.”

“I was just about too—HEY YOU CAN’T–”

The joker ripped the packaging open without a care in the world and started to eat it slowly in front of me. “Yum, yum- the ‘ShopSmart’ always knows how to make them right. What do you think? Or has your ‘advanced flavor profile’ moved on to other things now? No matter, just give me your shoes and hat.”

“What?”

“GIVE ME YOUR SHOES AND HAT!!”

Off they came and out the window they went.

“I’m going to get in trouble for losing my work cap.”

“Well here is a new one for you-”

The now empty shopping bag was placed over my head and tied tightly around me. “Can’t have you squealing on where we are taking you. Just sit back and try to relax, we will be there soon enough.”

The car took many twists and turns but I’m pretty sure they just drove around in a circle for a few minutes and pulled up in the loading area behind the ‘ShopSmart’. I was led up some steps (with the bag still on my head), brought inside, and put into a heavily air conditioned room. My suspicions were confirmed when I heard the intercom paging people.

“Wasn’t I just here?”

One of them slammed the door closed. “You have no idea where you are at!!”

I was made to strip and checked THOROUGHLY to make sure I had no recording devices on. Instead of giving me back my clothes I was given a ‘trash bag poncho’ to wear. “Sorry Bri, orders from the high ranks to make sure you were clean. Someone from the top wants a word with you, and I really mean from the top-the way top-‘The Upper Biscuit’ top.”

Which Lankville Reporter is in the BSU?

Which Lankville Reporter is in the BSU?

I raised my eyebrows from inside the bag. In the pecking order of the BSU it goes-The Lower Biscuit, The Egg, The Bacon, The Cheese, and then finally The Upper Biscuit. This meant the person was big time in the movement and made things happen. Why did they want to talk with me? I had only a loose affiliation with the BSU.

After what seemed like a lifetime the door opened again. “About time,” one of the kidnappers grumbled.

“I knew the plan but I’m a very busy person–”

That voice, I knew it!!! Once the bag was untied from my head I saw I was correct. Now dear readers, I am not going to reveal the name of this individual. Even after all this I still somewhat know and understand the ideals of what this movement is doing and I will not be the one to publicly out a member. I will just said that one of The Upper Biscuits is a fellow reporter for the Lankville Daily News. You read and enjoy their articles every day with your morning toast and jam. This the last person on the paper payroll you would expect.

“I see your shocked expression Bri, I will admit it’s a gamble making myself known.”

I tried to ask a question but it just came out a garbled mess.

“I’m not going to screw around- just going to get straight to the point. We of The Upper Crust are not happy with your articles for the paper. You were meant to help promote and spread the cause of breakfast sandwiches so that maybe, just maybe, they might get an equal playing field.”

“I do, I mean I try—”

“Do you really? Your first few articles had promise, it’s true. Since then it’s just been a mess. Pizza Eggwiches, bumpkins, hill people, half the time the articles don’t even make sense.”

“Yes, breakfast sandwiches are my life. It’s just so much else has happened to me since I began writing–”

My fellow reporter held up a hand to silence me. “I’m not here to listen to excuses Bri. I am here to let you know that your connection to the BSU is now over. No more discounts, no more coming to our secret late night tasting parties. You are not an outright enemy but what we call a ‘luncher’. Just remember how entrenched we are in every aspect of life in Lankville. You know that gelatin dinner thing you created, ever wonder why the warnings got so bad? I mean don’t get me wrong that thing is a health hazard, just with a word from us and it was raised ever so slightly. Remember how your Mom tried to fix you some breakfast this morning?”

“She swore she bought a box of breakfast sandwiches the other day.”

“She did. (pause for dramatic effect) We took them in the night. Again, this is just a warning- don’t mess with us and we won’t mess with you.”

I got the point loud and clear…my wallet was taken and my ‘Friend of the BSU’ membership card (which is disguised to look like your normal everyday retail discount card) was confiscated. For some reason I was allowed to leave from what looked like the manager’s office back of the store. I did get my wallet back but none of my clothes. So, in my ‘trash bag poncho’ I decided I was still hungry but instead of buying another ‘ready made’ breakfast sandwich I just bought a can of sloppy joe mix. Somehow having a breakfast sandwich at that moment didn’t feel right. The cashier hastily put up the ‘register closed’ sign right when I was walking up and I had to fumble around with the self checkout machine.

Luckily my clothes were outside on the sidewalk in the bag which was tied over my head (I guess they have some sorta heart, they could of thrown them in the dumpsters if they really wanted to) and even found my hat, shoes, and the markers for Scott’s book signing (these items were a bit beat up from the traffic).

It was a long four blocks back to the ‘Pizza-A-Round’ not just because people were making fun of the ‘trash bag poncho’ from their cars and doorways but also because I was reflecting on how my life will be different going forward. Everything seemed just a tad bit darker, who was really a friend now? Is this the price you pay for growing as a cuisine writer? Questions best left to answer in due time and after a busy book signing. Looks like it’s a pretty good turnout (which shouldn’t be a surprise, it’s a pretty wonderful book!!) and my poncho was also a hit among the crowd!! Until next time readers, please keep your minds and mouths open to new ideas. Happy eating!!-Bri

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