First things first: Do not panic. Yes, there is a needle in your turkey sandwich. Yes, it is poking out from its little temporary home between the mayo and the lettuce. The needle is sharp. It is there. But do not panic. Do not necessarily leap to the conclusion that midflight meals are the terrorists' latest concern. There are a number of perfectly plausible explanations for how and why that needle ended up in your turkey sandwich
on July 15 as you flew from Amsterdam to Minneapolis. Turn the page for the four that occurred to us.
4. The Dutch sew for pleasure.
In the far West, sewing is a necessity for those without the money or inclination to buy clothes and have them repaired professionally. You may not know that in the Netherlands, sewing is a pastime, a habit, really. It's not like sewing here. There, they do it for entertainment. After work, the Dutch sit around eating butter, disappearing Heineken and sewing tiny dresses for rosy-cheeked wooden dolls. And here's the kicker: Sometimes, the Dutch take breaks at work and squeeze in a little doll-dress-sewing. It's the equivalent of a smoke break. Yeah, the needles are a little sharp, and it would have been better if the kitchen staff at Gate Gourmet had been more vigilant about disposing properly of their discarded needles, but there was no evil intent, just forgetfulness. Hopefully, time will heal all gums.
3. The Dutch use needles for drugs. Again, you gotta know the Dutch. You think Americans are dorky for drugs? The Dutch make us look like some candy-chewing preschoolers. Almost 100% of Dutch people smoke marijuana more than a dozen times a day. Magic mushrooms are like Mentos there. Heroin is just a gateway drug to even more amazing drugs we don't even know about yet. Yes, that's right. Heroin. And unless you want to end up like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, heroin is best done with a needle. You see where we're going with this, don't you? Our guess is a few Dutch sandwich artists wanted to act like real artists and ended up nodding off midbatch. When they awoke, they were in such a hurry to catch up, they let a few needles fall into a few sandwiches. Big deal.