Al Batt: Toast that sticks to my ribs and to the floor

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tales From Exit 22 by Al Batt

It was a suspiciously nice day.

It was morning. The festivities had begun early. I was blurry-eyed and famished.

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A man on the radio advocated arming teachers. I’d been part of a small class. It would have been even smaller had our teachers been armed. The librarians would have used silencers.

My favorite meal is breakfast. I slid a slice of bread into the toaster.

Small classes reminded me of my small room in college. It was so cramped, I had to go outside to change my mind. I couldn’t cook in the room, but I made grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches by putting cheese or peanut butter between two pieces of bread and buttering the outer sides of the bread. I’d enclose the sandwich in tinfoil and grill it with an electric clothes iron for a few minutes on each side.

They weren’t as good as the grilled cheese sandwiches at the local cafe. I remember sitting near the windows in the café. Windows are wonderful. Most of the world is outside a window. I’d visited with good folks at a cancer center recently. Remodeling had necessitated a move of their operations from one floor to another. When they returned, I’d guessed they were happy to move back to where they had been. They weren’t. Their temporary digs included windows and they missed those. As I looked out the cafe’s window, Inga, a dancing fool, was walking down the sidewalk. She walked head down in a resolute manner right into the header of a combine that had been parked near the sidewalk. Bang! She hit it hard enough that it hurt me. She was dazed and confused for a moment. She spun around from the impact and then headed north, her original direction.

I like toast made from potato bread with butter, peanut butter and honey on it. I’d just applied a fresh coat of that stuff to the toast that had popped up from the toaster. I was moving the tasty toast from toaster to table when it slipped from my hand. I tried to catch it and ended up with peanut butter on my sleeve. That still hurts when it rains. As I watched it tumble downward, marveling that gravity continues to work, I noticed someone had foolishly put a floor in the middle of the kitchen. The toast nailed the landing. It hit the floor as I’d lunged for it, allowing me to step on the toast. I stepped on the dry side because the toast had landed butter, peanut butter and honey side down. I’d hit my allegorical combine. Cleanup in aisle me. It was like an epic fail science project. I don’t think the five-second rule applied. I have a rule when food hits the floor. If I snatch it up from the floor within five seconds, it’s OK to eat.

Such food should be blown upon like a birthday candle before being consumed. It’d be difficult for even the windiest of politicians to blow kitchen detritus from butter, peanut butter and honey. Even a blowhard like me would need the help of a hurricane to do that.

I’ve dropped toast a number of times during a lifetime of breakfasts. Most of them hit the floor butter, peanut butter and honey side down.

Why does that happen? If the toast slips off a table, hand or plate, it’s given a slight rotation as it starts to fall. As most kitchen tables are about waist height, the toast doesn’t swirl like a falling leaf, managing only half a rotation before it hits the floor. The buttered side was naturally facing upwards, so that’s the side striking the floor. Butter, peanut butter and honey side down.

Researchers from Manchester MET University dropped 100 slices of buttered toast from a table 2 1/2 feet high. In 81 percent of the falls, the buttered side made contact with the floor. My takeaway was that if you want to ensure your toast lands butter side up, get an 8-foot high table that would allow the toast to rotate a full 360 degrees.

The tumbling toast remains a dilemma. An 8-foot tall table in our kitchen is unlikely. I enjoy eating butter, peanut butter and honey on toast too much to give it up. The local bakery doesn’t make full-somersaulting bread. I’ve tried not dropping the toast. That didn’t work.

I’ve solved the problem. I put the butter, peanut butter and honey on the bottom of the toast.

Al Batt’s column appears every Wednesday and Saturday.