Saturday, April 10, 2010

I want to talk about toast.

My Uncle, my father's brother, Oscar "Slappy" Tannenbaum sent me this note this morning and like so many things it made me think of advertising.

Here's Uncle Slappy's note:


I want to talk about toast.

Not the "Here's to Phil" kind of toast. But toasted bread. I've noticed of late that it's hard to get good toast anymore. I think people just don't care or they don't know. Or they've forgotten.

Even Sylvie, my wife of almost 55 years doesn't do it right. She toasts well, the bagel nice and dark, but then she funfers around for ten minutes before buttering or schmearing. So what I get is a toasted bagel, not toast. Here's my point. TOAST SHOULD BE HOT. Hot is toast. Toast that's not hot is bread that's toasted. Also this is the way at coffee shops, by the time you get the toast you asked for what you have is toasted. Not toast.

Now, if you go into "Hole-y Moley," our local bagel shop and ask for a toasted bagel, you get something worse. A bagel that's been through a toaster and is warmed or slightly singed by the toaster. But singeing is not toasting.

To sum up--toast is toast when it is served medium to dark brown (pumpernickel notwithstanding) and hot.

Now here Uncle Slappy ends and I begin.

The point I think he's making is simple. The notion of good, of quality, or "the right way to do things" has all but disappeared in our world. We have the vocabulary but we use it without meaning. We have the special effects but they don't advance the plot. We have the tools and techniques but we don't have the vision.

I miss Uncle Slappy.
And toast.


bob hoffman said...

I can't believe you beat me to the toast post. You are totally right. Restaurant workers are too f***ing lazy to wait around for it to get dark. How are we expected to live under these conditions?

george tannenbaum said...

The truth is that there are few delights as tasty and satisfying as a piece of well-made toast.

george tannenbaum said...

BTW, here's a link to Bob and Ray's "House of Toast" :30.

Kelly said...


"The notion of good, of quality, or 'the right way to do things' has all but disappeared in our world."

ACK, yes!

Worse yet: Pointing this out in normal, non-Ad-Aged conversation can only get you labelled as a fussy, pedantic stickler for details.

Okay, I am, but I don't think the label is necessary.