As a sandwich, Reuben was delicious. As a person, Rueben was less so.
Rueben embraced the progenitor of his name – his father’s favourite sandwich, though at the time of naming, of course, he made up a story about a Rueben who had saved his life, winning his wife’s approval. He enjoyed being Rueben, the jokes that came with it, and the general comparisons he received to corned beef.
Whenever he was corrected on the spelling, though, Rueben would lose his cool.
The worst such incident was when Rueben was cancelling his newspaper subscription. Having found free content online, Rueben decided to no longer purchase the hard copy, or any copy. He called the cancellation line, and after the introductory rigmarole, he said, “I’d like to cancel my subscription please.”
“Okay,” said the voice on the other end. “Your name?”
“Rueben Fifer. That’s Rueben, like the sandwich, and Fifer like piper, only with Fs instead of Ps.”
“Hmm…I don’t see you in our system Mr. Fifer. We have a Rueben spelled R-u-e-b-e-n, but not like the sandwich.”
“That’s me, actually, and that’s like the sandwich.”
“Sir, actually the sandwich is spelled – ”
“I SAID IT’S LIKE THE SANDWICH,” Rueben shouted.
“Sir, please don’t yell, I – ”
“Listen, you fucking little peon, I don’t give a rats ass how little they pay you, you will treat me with some respect. If I say that’s how my name is spelled, that’s how it’s spelled, do you understand me? And I know my damn name better than your right hand knows your penis every damn night, so don’t fucking tell me what my name is, do you hear? It’s what I said, Rueben like the fucking sandwich!”
There was a click on the other end as the customer service person hung up, and Rueben slammed the phone down. He cancelled the credit card with which he had purchased the paper, and burned every copy that appeared on his doorstep thereafter. When they called about the problems with his credit card in the renewal process, he shouted that he had cancelled long ago, and hung up without waiting for a reply.