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A Neil Young Story

One day, Neil Young was home, working on writing some new songs. After a productive morning, a rumbling in his stomach told him it was time to break for lunch. Young decided to reward his own efforts by making and then devouring the perfect sandwich.

In his kitchen, Young began to assemble the ingredients for his perfect sandwich: bread, a variety of cold cuts, spinach leaves, pickles, olives, and slices of provolone and Swiss cheese. As he searched for a condiment, he realized with dismay that his last remaining jar of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise was empty.

That would not do at all.

Rather than compromise his vision of the perfect sandwich, Young grabbed his jacket, wallet, and car keys, and headed out to the grocery store to pick up a fresh jar of Hellmann’s.

Now, on any given day, it was a quick trip to the grocery store, maybe 15 minutes round trip, if even that. But on this day, Young ran into a construction detour, with no easy alternate route. The detour took him miles out of his way, adding at least twenty minutes to his journey. 

After finally following the detour almost all the way back to his familiar grocery store route, Young made a wrong turn, and didn’t realize it until he’d driven an extra ten minutes in the wrong direction. Cursing colorfully, Young corrected his error, backtracked, and finally arrived at the grocery store. What was usually a 15-minute round trip had already taken almost 40 minutes. Circling to find a parking space in the store’s crowded lot added another five minutes.

A crowded parking lot meant a crowded store. A small group of fans recognized Young on his way inside, and–seeking to combat his persistent image as a curmudgeon–Young paused long enough to sign autographs and pose for selfies. He then excused himself, navigated the throngs of other shoppers, and made his way to the part of the store where, on previous visits, he had always grabbed his jars of Hellmann’s right off the shelf. Alas, the store had revamped its merchandising plan, so Young had to ask for help in finding his target. His 15-minute round trip had begun just over an hour ago.

When Young arrived at the shelf where jars of Hellmann’s were supposed to be awaiting eager customers, the shelf was empty. Restocking was in process, and within another ten minutes, Young had his chosen condiment–two jars of it–in hand. He checked out with no further incident.

Traffic was slow on the return trip. Flashing lights warned of a fender-bender up ahead–no one was hurt, thank God–and the bumper-to-bumper parade of vehicles crawled on slowly. By the time Young made it back home, it had been more than two hours since the discovery of an empty Hellmann’s jar had sent him on what was supposed to be a 15-minute trek.

Young shrugged it all off. He went to the kitchen, made the perfect sandwich he’d envisioned, and enjoyed every bite of it.

His hunger satisfied, Young returned to his songwriting. He reflected on his day and its unexpected complications. He picked up his guitar, and began a new song:

Long mayo run
Long mayo run
Long mayo run….
Thank you. We’re here every day.

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