Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Saga of Steve vs. Ned--This is Mostly Speculation

A phone conversation between Poor Kyle and me a few weeks ago went something like this:

PK: So what did you do down in AZ today, while I was up here in Canada being responsible and tending your garden?
Me: Oh, Lindsey and I went to Krazy Sub for lunch.
PK: Oh, Krazy Sub? Steve's or Ned's?

Part of me was disappointed that he even had to ask, but the other part was thrilled that he, a native of Mayberry, Canada, even knew there was a difference.

The answer to his question was "Steve's"--naturally. Because there are three kind of sub-lovers in Mesa, AZ: Steve's, Ned's, and Subway [and Subway doesn't count]. That's what I always say.

And I am a Steve's.

Which is odd, really. I mean, there are far softer breads in the world (hello, Port of Subs!), and far riper tomatoes than the ones served at Steve's. His sandwiches are tasty enough, but not the best I've ever had. What is it about Steve's that makes me such a loyal customer? It's certainly not Steve's quality treatment of us--the paying masses--because he does, after all, charge extra for pickles and drink refills (25 cents, to be exact):

There's no such thing as a free lunch, especially when you're eating at Steve's.

In many ways, actually, Steve is quite the crook. He pays his high school employees a pittance, and (I know for a fact) he strictly enforces the "no extra meat, even for family" rule.

Perhaps it's not so much that Steve's establishment is good, but more that Steve's establishment is better than the alternative; a lesser of two evils, per se. Perhaps the virtue of Steve's Krazy Sub lies in its competition: Ned, arch rival and nemesis to Steve, has his own Krazy Sub shop not far from Steve's. It is rumoured that once upon a time (30 years ago) Steve and Ned were business partners, nay--brothers. Business was good, and all was well in Mesa. But one day--perhaps amidst a business deal turned sour [no doubt Steve was trying to get more than his fair share of the profits, the crooked scoundrel]--the two split, creating new and separate shops; new and separate families; new and separate Krazy Subs. [Neither of them, unfortunately, enforced new and separate spellings of the word "Krazy." Or new wall decor. Or shop-front lettering.]

Steve's walls.

Ned's walls.

Steve did, however, decide his was The Krazy Sub, while Ned, the vain man that he is, kept his name and added his face on the window:

Ned: Not that I would eat your subs anyway, but that giant head of yours on the window isn't helping your cause. Really.

Ned moved east, targeting the customer base near Mountain View High School, while Steve stayed near home--Westwood High and area. The two schools, being lifelong rivals (along with Mesa High [who don't really have a Krazy Sub to call their own, so we won't talk about those guys much]), found the separate Krazy Subs to be excellent fuel for the "My-school-is-better-than-your-school" fire. Students began sneaking into each others' Krazy Subs, leaving graffiti under the tables with black Sharpieâ„¢ markers that read things like, "Die, Ned!" and "Steve's will rise again" and "Shea has big boodie [sic]!!" and "Jenny--will you go to prom with me?". If I were going to graffiti on the underside of Ned's tables, I would scrawl, "MOVING TO MOUNTAIN VIEW HAS TURNED NED VAIN!!!" in block letters--the man has his face plastered all over the place, including the door to his sub shop, and the website for said sub shop!

Image from Ned's website.

But I digress: the point is, life in Mesa has never been the same since the Big Split of '77.

It should be noted, though, that I am loyal to Steve's for more than the Montague/Capulet reasons. Steve and his Krazy Subs have been a part of some very important days in my life. He got me through countless wait-outs at the Mesa Lutheran Hospital (which is now dead and gone, just like some of my relatives who spent weeks there). Those Krazy Subs taught me about finances--if I can't afford to eat at Krazy Sub and pay for the extra pickles and large Diet Pepsi, then I can't afford to eat anywhere. Steve's subs cheered me up when I lost the Student Body President election in 9th grade, and they were there when I celebrated winning some other position that same year by default. I commiserated not getting asked to prom there. I ate many "last meals" there with friends I haven't seen since. I have a table there. When one of my friends worked there in high school, she gave me free pickles and the phrase "I Steal From Steve" was coined there.

And all I know is, when I walked into Ned's to take a photo for this post, and saw all the photos of those itsy-bitsy Mountain View kids on the walls, I felt like a total fraud.

There, to the left of the mermaid's fin, hang a slew of Mountain View photos. Ugh.

I don't belong there--I belong at Steve's.

...I would that everybody could know their place in life with such clarity.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you get oil and vinegar on your subs? I think that's what sets Steve's apart from other sub shops. At least, I think that's what does it for me.

June 19, 2008 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger angela hardison said...

Well, I belong at Ned's. But it's right around the corner from my parent's house - so can you really blame me? And while I do claim to be from Mountain View, I don't really claim to be a Mountain View kid if you know what I mean.

June 19, 2008 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Jami said...

camille, I am so hungery for krazy sub now! to bad i already have dinner done!

June 19, 2008 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Camille Elise said...

LOve this post Camille! Very fascinating...neat comparisons. and WOW. i had never paid attention to Ned's head! how annoying.

June 19, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Mikelle said...

haha, love this post! I am a Steve's fan, of course. Actually, I've only eaten there a couple of times, but we used to hang out there a lot in high school since everyone and their brother worked there.

June 20, 2008 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger RPH said...

the friendhsip between us has diminished just a bit, camille. i am a die hard neds fan. and we love that big head of his. we have it on lots of cups and tshirts in this house. we can not go to az without a trip (or ten) to neds. and petes. mmmmmmmm.
also, ned is one of the nicest people i know.

June 20, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a subway fan. Always have been. Cheaper food, better taste. anon10

June 20, 2008 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Well, they are both still in business, so somebody likes Ned.

June 20, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Erik and Amanda said...

Hey Camille! I absolutely love your post about krazy subs! And yes, i completly agree, i am also team Steve! My new blog is hope you will check it out!

June 20, 2008 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger kayleen said...

i can't believe you just called steve a crook on the www. that's brave.

i've eaten both places and can't really tell a difference in taste. but i've never really been into home school pride, either. so maybe that's why.

June 20, 2008 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Melain said...

Oh what a delicious drama! Men can hold a grudge for SUCH a long time! I'd like to stick those two in a room together for 24 hours and see what happens. Maybe peace would be declared and Ned would see it in his heart to take his big ugly head of of the decor! People are trying to EAT here!!!!

June 21, 2008 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger RatalieNose said...

I too belong-and always will belong- at Steve's. I've never eaten at Ned's nor will I ever! MY BLOOD RUNS DEEP ORANGE!!!!!!!! (mixed with the vinegar and oil Steve puts on his subs. I agree with Adelle 100% that that is what sets them apart) fabulous post Kim

June 21, 2008 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger erin k said...

I sadly do not belong to a Krazy Sub store. I am a sub slut, I suppose. I go where I please in the present moment. No loyalty to any store. I did very much enjoy your comparison, though. :)

June 21, 2008 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ned and steve should patch things up.
for the community.
bring the factions together.

though the big head bugs me too.

June 21, 2008 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mountain View rules!!!!!!!!!

June 21, 2008 at 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a forever steve's fan! (and WESTWOOD!) I also enjoy the vinegar and oil that steves puts on it. Yum!

June 22, 2008 at 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've often thought about tattoos and could never decide what I would get if I were to get one. Maybe it should read, "STEVES FOREVER!"


June 25, 2008 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


September 26, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear stealer i guess you had to move to canada because you had no friend in AZ. You know nothing about Ned or Steve but manage to make up alot things so with the name I steal from steve can also be coined I'm a big fat liar and don't know anything about the Krazy sub Saga. Maybe one day you might grow up and understand it does not matter what high school you went to. Plus if we are going to have Krazy sub for school just to let you know genius There is one right by Mesa High also so they have a krazy sub too. Hope your not upset that your facts are not straight.

September 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM  

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