Who invented toast and are they sorry?

IT’S toast for breakfast again.

Oh goody. That’ll make a nice change. This morning I shall have maramalade on it first, and Vegemite on the second piece. I may even spice up the Vegemite with a few slices of cucumber.

Alternatively I could have the Vegemite and marmalade on one piece and the cucumber on the second.

The deep and transparent flaw in all these permutations, however, is that whatever I do I’ll still be stuck with the bloody toast!

Who invented toast? And are they sorry? Did they die a natural death or did they take their own lives in a noble act of contrition for the wrong they had done the human race, like you would do if you’d invented the atom bomb, or those knitted loo-roll cosies that look like ballerinas?

It’s only when you have lived beyond middle age that the awful tedium of toast begins to strike home. There are some very yummy breads, I know that. Rye breads, seed breads, fruit breads, cheese breads, sweet breads. But there’s only one toast.

Sorry – two toasts. Under done and burnt. Then all that matters is what you put on it. My wife says I should stop making a fuss. She says there are people in the world who would be grateful for toast. I’m sure this is true. I know this is true. But none of them has eaten toast every day since they were six.

Let’s be honest. Why do we eat toast?

Because it’s very difficult to pick jam off your plate when you’ve spread it on mashed potato.

Toast is just a vehicle. And as vehicles go it’s got about as much charisma as a Ford Prefect.

What matters is what you spread on it.

Over the years I have tried everything. Some of them you won’t want to hear. I replaced the butter with tahini because my wife said it was good for me. What it does is cement your mouth permanently closed, which might be good for her but not for me (tahini is a… substance, made from sesame seeds. I don’t know why exactly. Certainly not for spreading on toast. Possibly for constructing bridges).

I have tried every jam known to science and most combinations. My children left home when I tried Vegemite and peanut butter. Sardines and lemon curd reminds me of those sweet and sour dishes at the Chinese restaurants.

You see, I remember all these things but I don’t remember the toast! Why on earth would you? I want to know why we can’t start our day with a couple of cups of good coffee and little bowls of jam, marmalade, Vegemite and peanut butter – each with a spoon.

The people of the world are forever having things foisted on them as essentials when they actually serve no really useful purpose at all. Toast, ties, television, tonsils. Is there meaning in the fact that my random choice all start with the letter T? Who knows!

All I know is that I don’t think I can bear another morning with two slices of toast. I told me wife. Bless her, she aims to please.

Tomorrow we’re having porridge.

You remember porridge — it’s the stuff that makes a handy vehicle for sugar, golden syrup, jam.