My fear of sandwich buyers

I am becoming quite frightened of people who order sandwiches.
A seemingly quite normal person comes in to The Clerkenwell Kitchen, and asks: “Do you do sandwiches?”
“Yes, we do.”
“What sort of sandwiches  do you do?”
“All the ones on the blackboard marked “Sandwiches”.
“Do you do lamb tagine sandwiches on rye bread?”
“No, we do the three types of sandwiches shown on the sandwich board.”
“Oh, okay.”
So far, everything is normal. But now something very alarming takes place. The sandwich seeker stands, paralysed in place, eyes fixed unblinkingly on the blackboard. Plates are delivered to tables; lives are lived and ended; outside, darkness falls. Still the sandwich seeker stares.
I tend to notice this because my usual seat at The Clerkenwell Kitchen is right beneath the blackboard which lists the three sandwiches. So it feels as if the person looking at the sandwich board is staring right at me. Sometimes,  I feel a cold shiver down my spine, and look up to find that there are five or six people in various places around the restaurant, all fixed like stone statues, all staring, unwaveringly and unblinkingly, at me. It is like dreaming you are on the set of a zombie movie and then realising, with a start, that it’s real. You are surrounded by the undead. And more are joining them.
“Do you want to order?”
The person – if still a person – looks at the bar staff in surprise and confusion. “Oh, yes. I’d like…”
But of course, they haven’t made a choice. This is because they have not been looking at the three sandwich options on the blackboard for the last ten minutes; instead they have been staring at me, quite obviously thinking only of rending my (admittedly deliciously fatty) flesh with their zombiefied jaws.
Now, they seem to turn their blank, slack-mouthed, gaze to the sandwich board again, as if seeing it for the first time, which may well be the case. At this point, things can get even more terrifying. Some of them  take several shuffling steps towards me, as if moving from ten to five feet away will make the sandwich choice somehow easier. Sometimes – even more of a shock – I lower my eyes to my plate just for a moment – lulled into a false sense of security by their immobility – only to look up a second later and find they are all suddenly several feet closer.
The bar staff return, now quite concerned whether they will be able to go home on time. “Do you want to order yet?”
“Oh, I’ll have a Cheddar and pickle sandwich then.”
Usually, this is just before I would finally crack and decide to make a run for it.
“We only do Cheddar and tomato.”
“Or beef. Is it quite rare?”
“You mean the rare beef sandwich?”
And still they stand there, staring, and apparently seeing nothing.

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My seat under the sandwich board at The Clerkenwell Kitchen

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