Figuring out what to make myself for lunch is enough work as it is that I can’t say I’ve ever been particularly invested in the day-to-day of anyone else’s midday meals — until I came across the TikTok account @AdventuresInAardia.
Here’s how it works: For about the past few weeks, fantasy author and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast Jacob A. Pauwel has been playing a game called “Roll for Sandwich,” in which he lets dice decide each component of his lunch, generally in the categories of meat, cheese, sauce, and other (vegetables, usually). The options within each category are written in a numbered list, which corresponds to a specific sided die (meaning, a four-item list would use a four-sided die, a six item list, a six-sided die, and so on, up to 20), and vary each day depending on what’s in the fridge.
Each sandwich gets eaten, no matter its mismatched contents, and I respect the commitment to the bit, especially since fate hasn’t always been so forgiving in its sandwich artistry. Though day one resulted in a noncontroversial combination of pastrami, pickles, salt, pepper, and mustard and set a sunny tone for the series, day eight led to the unholy union of imitation crab, pepper Jack cheese, pickles, and alas, Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Down the hatch it went, with no cooking or mixing chocolate sauce into a more fake crab-friendly spread, if such a thing is even possible.
Since the game’s inception, it’s undergone some changes that have made it more fun to watch. A grocery restock around day six opened the door to more bread varieties than the seeded slices in the earliest editions, and the inclusion of a toy robot in a pickle jar on day eight inspired plenty of enthusiastic comments, both on TikTok and in the Eater staff Slack. A custom dice tower occasionally pops up instead of Pauwel rolling by hand, and some days, “roll again” or “roll two” per category prompts offer the potential for greater discord.
This type of check-in-every-day content is clearly a hit on TikTok (remember the brief fixation on “Bones Day” and Noodle the Pug?), and within a few days of launching Roll for Sandwich, @AdventuresInAardia went from just over 1000 followers to almost 12,000. As of this writing, the account is at over 176.5 thousand. “Safe to say this is my main acct now” reads the bio of the page that appears to have been started as a space for Pauwel to discuss D&D.
What madness might tomorrow’s roll bring? I’ll keep on watching to find out — and to appreciate the comparative lack of chaos in my own kitchen and lunch-making process in comparison.