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What Aggravates Me John Knight

What’s in a Name?

Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”

There was an article in the Post-Gazette the other day titled “Sliders.” I began to read what I assumed was a story about the horrendous collapse of the Pirates, when I noticed I was in the Food section. The story wasn’t about baseball, it was about “little sandwiches,” which are now commonly referred to as “Sliders.”

People now just take for granted that these little sandwiches and mini-burgers are sliders. They just assume that the name somehow fits. Sliders are now a common menu item in most restaurants, but that wasn’t always the case.

The first time I heard the term “slider” used was back in the eighties. I can’t remember what part of the country I was in, but they had “White Castle.” If you don’t know that’s a pretty common hamburger place in most of the country. Just for some reason, there were none in Pittsburgh.

So after a show one night, wherever I was, another comedian suggested we go grab a bag of sliders. I thought it might be some kind of new drug that I hadn’t heard of. Then he explained to me that it was “White Castle” burgers.

Not just any burgers, tiny burgers being placed on tiny buns. I think we each got six. You know, a bag of sliders. As we were eating, he asked me if I knew why they called them sliders. I just assumed it was from the way they slid them from the grill onto the bun.

“No, it’s because they slide right through you.”

That was the first time I heard that term and explanation, but it wasn’t the last. Any town I went to that had “White Castle.”

“Do you want to grab a bag of sliders and do you know why they’re called that?”

So now we have taken the name of a food that acts as a laxative and made it a popular meal.

“Yes, I’ll have the sliders and to drink, I’ll go with the Metamucil Margarita.”

“T.G.I. FRIDAY’S” will now be “T.G.I.O.F”…Thank God I only…passed gas. C’mon, I wasn’t going there. This column lost its dignity with the “Metamucil Margarita.”

I know, I may have ruined sliders for many of you. Growing up in the “White Castle” barren land of Pittsburgh, you lived with the comfort of knowing sliders meant “little sandwich.” Now that’s gone. I was just trying to make a point. I don’t know how something that was once considered a greasy colon cleanser ends up on a gourmet menu.

Let me try to make it up to you. I’ll give you a little tip on another food related item.

For those of you that don’t travel much, I should let you in on another secret. The rest of the world refers to it as Bologna or Baloney, not jumbo. If you’re outside of Pittsburgh and order a “Jumbo” sandwich, do you know what you’ll get? A really big sandwich. Jumbo is a size, not a type of meat.

So that’s it for now. Once again doing my part to help. I have to go now, its dinner time. We’re having “Jumbo sliders.” Wait a minute. Wouldn’t that be a really big, little…Never mind.

Don’t forget, we will be announcing my Jagoff Vice-President running mate this week. So enter now or miss out on all the great prizes, none of which is a basket of deplorables.

Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

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