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September 25, 2007

Primus Enters the Pantheon

Should you see Professor Primus in the next few days, be sure to congratulate him! Not for surviving the summer, though how any professor makes it without all of us around to pose absurd hypotheticals and pester them about finals is a mystery. And, not for getting married recently, though he certainly deserves a pat-on-the-back for that one as well. No, the reason you should congratulate Professor Primus is because the sandwich he designed, the Primus Inter Pares, has been added to this year’s menu at Zingerman’s Delicatessen! That makes it the first sandwich purchased at the SFF auction to be added to the full menu. (Kinda puts getting married into perspective, doesn’t it?)

The Primus Inter Pares took its place along side such legendary sandwich fare as the MJ’s Fond Farewell and Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure yesterday in a small ceremony with Professors Primus and Brensike Primus in attendance. Having his sandwich added to the Zingerman’s menu is the realization of a five-year dream for Professor Primus. “I’m not sure that there is anything for sale in Ann Arbor that is more exciting than that,” noted Professor Primus (see “The Constitutional Politics of Turkey Sandwiches” in the September 11, 2007 issue of the RG).

In an e-mailed comment explaining why the Primus Inter Pares was added to the menu after not having sold enough during its month-long trial period, Rick Strutz, the Managing Partner of Zingerman’s Delicatessen, explained that “In the big scheme of things we’re just a little delicatessen on a corner in Ann Arbor. We have a Radical Vision of changing our world, though, helping to make it better tomorrow than it is today; but we are realistic too. ... We probably won’t find the next miracle cure, and we probably won’t end homelessness in the world (but we’re trying in Washtenaw County). At the end of the day, we sell sandwiches, and food that makes you happy. So, when we had the chance to make one person’s dream come true with a sandwich ... well to us, that’s kinda a no brainer.”

Whether the Primus Inter Pares will be on the menu again next year will still depend on how well it sells between now and then. This means that all of us have a lot of sandwiches to eat before then. And Professor Primus has some eating to do, too, if he is to maintain his boast that he has eaten every sandwich Zingerman’s makes, since several other new sandwiches joined the menu yesterday as well.

“Primus enters the Pantheon ... long may he remain First Among Equals.”