Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Toast and I do not get along.

For a moment I wondered if I should blame the toaster and not the toast. I put in soft, lovable, bland bread and it comes out crunchy, hot and all around upset at its treatment. But the toaster is just doing its job, it can't help it if I stuff various objects into its orifices and play around with its buttons and knobs until I'm satisfied. The toast could take the high road. It could understand that it is its destiny to be crunchy and delicious instead of harnessing the power of its anger to gain revenge.

Silly you say?

I decided that toast and I are locked in battle just a few days ago. All I wanted was two pieces of toast. Sure, I was a little rough spreading on the butter and maybe there was a bit too much pepper or garlic powder, but I never claimed to the bread that I would be gentle during our brief tryst. So perhaps I abused the carbohydrate; I apologize. But I could have shown it no care and stuffed it in to the toaster without any preparation for its metamorphosis.

Here is exhibit A in my case that toast hates me. The smell of it makes me nauseous. Not all toast mind you, if you'd like to slip a nice piece of French baguette into my slots I'm happy to let you. But Wonder Bread holds no wonder at all. The smell of air and chemicals crisping up into a recipe so basic an ancient drunk must have thought it up. It doesn't sit well with my stomach and I know the toast knows this. I also know that the toast is in cahoots with eggs for an early morning onslaught against my senses. But the eggs are another story entirely.

So I was hasty in my preparation of the squares of soon to be food. I admit it. But I carefully slipped them into the toaster without any trouble and proceeded to prepare a wonderful batch of leftover meatballs to be eaten with my toast to be. The toaster popped, I eagerly went to check my prize, but it hadn't finished. I took the care to turn each piece around to evenly cook and urged the appliance into another round. I knew the cycle could not be finished, yes, I knew. And I knew that I had been distracted and I knew that I needed to multitask and I didn't. So I do owe the toast an apology.

Exhibit B, the toast did not wait for me. The phone rang and the doctor's called to remind me of an upcoming appointment; very considerate, yes? My thoughts were on the bread with the butter bubbling and crusting over and the scent of garlic that was becoming charred. I made the phone call as quick as I could...but by the time I returned to the box of hell fire the damage had been done. And the toast could have prevented it, I know it could have waited.

I was upset, but didn't have the heart to throw out the toast. I was being nice! Yes I had to take a knife of scrape away the burned remains of the hastily applied seasonings and yes I can understand how the toast might not take well to being skinned alive. But it was going to be eaten! Why couldn't it understand its job? The toast was placed on top of the meatballs on my plate and content with my meal I returned to my computer to nom.

Exhibit C, the toast used gravity against me. I was careful! I set the plate down, moved to get something I cannot remember in my grief and when I turned around all I could see were the two squares falling to their doom on my dirty bedroom floor. I would have appreciated them, I would have loved them, but instead they chose to run away and leap into the great beyond.

I was forced to make another set of seasoned toast, which I admit behaved perfectly well and were extremely delicious. Maybe I should not be so upset with the toast. But this is not the first time it has taken to a suicidal jump instead of the safety of my mouth. It has burned me, it has burned itself, it has left crumbs in the bottom of the poor toaster that is just doing their job to burn when it isn't expected.

At times I wonder if I should blame the toaster. Perhaps as it cooks my bread it whispers sweet nothings to it, persuading it to do its bidding once it is freed from its grasp. I have valid reasons for this. I can make toast in the oven fine, bake it, perhaps use the broiler, I even experienced toasting bread in a pan just today and it was very good. I can also make a grilled cheese like nobodies business.

I will be more careful now as I approach the toaster with my hope for a meal. I will gently push down its handle and clean it when the crumb tray over flows. I will thank it for its work and I will offer it praise for the lovely toast it can provide. Maybe then it will allow my toast to come to me as innocent as it was when it entered its depths.

Or perhaps this is what the toast wants me to think.

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