Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bread and Butter

For years I had a covert and clandestine secret about bread. Nobody in the world knew it: whenever I plunged my hand into the packet to extract some bread for toasting, my fingers slipped past whatever slice sat on top, and scrambled instead for the one lurking beneath.
I was under the impression that the second in line was safer, more hygienic, less prone to worldly germs and the wrath of other hands. Were I the fortunate first one to tear open the packet, then the top slice was considered pristine; but it was a rare occasion and I usually stumbled upon the packet long after it had been torn asunder, slices all turned to face the sun, crusts mangled and the wholesome alignment obliterated.
Great was my surprise, then, when I one morning observed my sibling taking his share, and I felt that something was amiss.
Upon peering into the packet I recognised the very same slice I had discarded earlier; but surely that could not be right because my brother had since had a hand in there. The top fellow ought to have been eaten, but there was a familiar crust before me.
I stared at my sibling as he scraped butter, thick and yellow, onto the bread. Now that I thought about it, he did always seem to rummage in the packet for a longer spell than seemed necessary- as I routinely did.
I donned my detective cape and took a glimmer of a chance.
"Do you," I posed the question to my munching sibling, "ever take the top slice of bread?"
His chewing halted, his abashed expression said a score of words.
"I don't like the top slice," he mumbled eventually through toast crumbs when it became evident that his plan was revealed.
"I always go for the one beneath. Just a habit, I suppose. I prefer it."
"Ah ha," I said; and a few moments later I admitted my own truth.

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