Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bread Sliced By Width

Someone at work just dropped the "Greatest thing since sliced bread" platitude on me. I refrained from punching her squarely in the breasts.

I enjoy the "sliced bread" cliché for one reason: It led to one of the funnier dialogues in my storied history of e-mail frivolity. I just dug through my Yahoo! E-mail archives and found this gem from December of 2002.

Shortly after hooking up my new TiVo (thanks Red Cowboy), I sent this piece of online correspondence to my buddies and most notable amateur historians TJ in OH and Tits McGillicuty:

"Seriously, is there a better invention than TiVo? I think in historical significance, it goes: 1. Sliced bread 2. TiVo 3. Electricity. Thoughts?"

See, even I utilized the "sliced bread" banality at one point in life. Proof, we all can be saved from ourselves. Titsy responded first:

"Honestly, in terms of technology I've experienced, here's my ranking:
(3 way tie) High speed internet, Tivo, recordable CDs.
Technology I'd like to experience: XM Radio.
Technology that is unnecessary: color cell phones that include games and cameras. Give me a break.

Were people just FREAKING OUT when sliced bread came out? How did that go. Was there a big press release? Was it in the papers? Was it available just in time for Christmas?"

Titsy brings up a good point. But, as usual, the always insightful TJ in OH retorted with the answer (albeit fabricated) to his queries:

"Sliced bread as we know it took some time to develop. Early models featured the bread sliced lengthwise, which was impractical for its most popular application: the sandwich.

Even though it was sliced, the bread-consuming public just didn't give a damn. So when people say 'the greatest thing since sliced bread,' they should really say 'the greatest thing since bread sliced by width.' It's simply more accurate."

Truer words ne'er been spoken, TJ. Spread the gospel of width.

(More on Chillicothe MO, "The Home of Sliced Bread," and why they feel compelled to promote that as an actual accomplishment. The quality of life there must truly be off the charts.)


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