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  • Paul Davidson

Words For <i>Your</i> Enjoyment: Toast

It is Friday, and you know what that means.

This week’s “Words For Your Enjoyment” idea comes from one of our friends from down unda’ — Australia to be exact. He asked the simple question, “What are the problems with toast?” And sadly, for all of you — I have a pretty complicated answer.

For those who don’t know, the origins of “toast” stem way back to the 1600’s when the Earl of Toast, who was the step-son of the King of France, found himself standing above a huge plate filled with bread and boar’s meat and asparagus. It was there, standing over this huge plate filled with bread and boar’s meat and asparagus that the Earl of Toast uttered a certain set of words to his servant, kneeling at the edge of the table.

The Earl of Toast said (translated from French to English): “I hate asparagus. It makes my pee smell ungodly. As for boar’s meat, I find it too tough to chew. I seek something that is soft to the palate and chewy to the touch. That is what I seek.”

Well, you can imagine the surprise of the servant, who was now standing next to our Earl of Toast (who I forgot to mention was called at that time the Earl of Saint Margurite) when he heard these words. He whipped the asparagus onto the floor in a frenzy, taking the boar’s meat and tossing it under the table. When all that was left was the bread, the servant spoke.

“Dear Lord,” he said. “I believe what you seek is that. Bread.”

The Earl of Toast, once Margurite, looked down at the slices of goodness and scowled. “That is not bread!” he screamed. “That is the discharge of the asparagus, solidified into strange unappealing slices of refuge from the blood of the boar’s meat!”

(The Earl of Toast, once Margurite, was not well-educated.)

Nonetheless, he threw the toast off the plate, flinging it up and into the air and causing it to land at the edge of the hearth, where a small fire broke out and burned the servant (who was trying to save the savory slices) and the bread itself.

As the Earl of Toast, once Margurite stood over the burnt carcass of the servant, he stepped over him — curious at the darkened goodness left behind. It was then that he picked up the burnt bread and took a bite.

“Toast.” the Earl said aloud. “I dub thee, toast!”

There was really no one else around, except for the dead charred body of the servant, and so the Earl screamed at the top of his lungs for other servants to come running. Soon, a crowd stood around him. A lot of them stared blankly at the dead body before them.

“Toast!” the Earl repeated as the crowd continued to stare wide-eyed at the dead servant.

And from then on – the Earl of Margurite was known as the Earl of Toast.

And so you ask, dear reader from Australia — what are the problems with toast? I tell you this — any form of cooked bread whose name comes from the result of a servant’s death… Any form of buttered, crunchy goodness whose origins stem from slavery and the French… Well, there’s more problems there worth mentioning.

And so I say on this Friday morning in the month of March in the year Two-Thousand Four…

We Must Ban Toast.

I don’t care what places like Denny’s and Coco’s and all the diners around this great country think of me and my crusade against toast. I just don’t. It matters more to me that I stand strong against all the problems plauging the world of Toast and the fact that such problems would not be here today had one Earl of Margurite (now Toast) known the difference between bread and a boar’s blood/asparagus coagilate.

Thankfully, you do. At least, now.

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