The End of Bread


Let’s be honest. Bread is quickly becoming a thing of the past. We all know it. Some of us will never admit it. Some of us will blindly adhere to our baguettes no matter how obvious it becomes that bread is no longer a relevant food option. They will call upon the ancient law of tradition saying, “We’ve always had bread at the table.” Or even, “Waitress, can we get some bread for the table.” And in a perfect world, the waitress will answer with an eye roll and a flick of her hair, knowing that there is no bread to be found.

If we were more self aware, I think we would be able to admit that bread has never been the necessity so many claim it to be. This may sound like

 the cue to enter with the cliché, “Man cannot live by bread alone.” I refuse to even bring up that old argument. I will simply shake my head that someone, somewhere, thought that it was worth their time to utter such an obvious truth. I will, instead, offer to “break bread.” I will even promise to break it. I will destroy it. I will wipe it from our vernacular. From our culture. From your memory. Even from the cleverest of you. The ones who have not just been picturing a warm loaf of complimentary bread on a restaurant’s table, but have been picturing the many other paths bread has taken into our collective digestion. They are raising their hands, waiting to be called upon with the perfect quip to ruin this diatribe. When called on they will perhaps answer with a smug look around the classroom and two simple words, “Grilled cheese.” And the teacher will laugh, because dairy products will surely be the next martyr to be put to the culinary guillotine.
Gluten free. You must have already thought of this. You might even be picturing me as one of those “gluten free” people. We all have them in our lives, and I hope we all pray for them when we go to sleep at night. Statistics say that one in one hundred people are affected by celiac disease. This is a disease where gluten, which is a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye and other places, can cause damage to the small intestine. This is a real disease that real people have and are forced to deal with. I realize that. I hold nothing against those who were born into a gluten free lifestyle. I do not, however, support the Gluten Free Movement. I believe the gluten free movement happens to be one of the most uninformed groups found in history. The question “Is this gluten free?” has been asked about some of the most ridiculous items. No, there is not gluten in your soda pop. No, there is not gluten in your junk food. No, you will not be healthy on a gluten free diet where you only eat candy. Not to mention that the word “gluten” gives me nearly the same cringing feeling I experience upon hearing the word “moist.”

Now to speak to the psychologist who says to me, “This young man must have been treated poorly in his life. That must be the cause of this bread aversion.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Bread has done me no wrong. And, no doubt, you are still looking for a cause for my vendetta. You are probably assuming revenge or jealousy. And you are once again wrong. But still you wonder what my motive is. I will not tell you. Some answers will never be known. There are many things we do not know, and though we always strive to the truth, to find the root of the matter, sometimes the most satisfaction can be found in the not knowing. The trust that bread is useless. You do not know why so you try to backtrack the fact to the reasoning. There is none.

On the other hand, there is also almost too much reasoning. I could give you reasons for days. And this would give you the chance to argue. If you are exceptionally wise, you may be able to find mistakes with a few of my reasons or analogies. If you were mad enough, you might be able to drown out my flood of information with screams of injustice. But even at the end of a century of arguing, you would leave and forget what you were once so passionate about. You would feel hunger and think, “What am I craving?” And you would not remember. And you would go to the store and walk the aisles, and still you would not remember what you had once loved so dearly. Because in that century of your rage and chaotic defense of what you loved, you forgot. You forgot what it was like to butter toast. To cover an everything bagel in cream cheese. To put a half pound of deli meat in between two slices of rye. You remember peanut butter and jelly, but not how to hold these sticky ingredients together. You forgot, but I still remember. I’m the one standing beside you at the supermarket giving you a sympathetic smile when you say, “I know there was something else I was supposed to get.” And you text your wife to ask if she remembers, and she simply replies, “idk diapers?” So you ignore the nagging half thought in the back of your mind and walk dejectedly to the diaper aisle.

If I thought it would help you to remember the true reason this all started, I could remind you. I could try to bring up the truth of the past, but no one really understands the past. We have those who support the past, those who hate it, and those who revise it, but none who can explain the truth of it. The truth of how those simple minded people would exclaim, “Ah! Sliced bread! What a triumph!” I say the quicker we move forward, the richer our lives shall be. If the world is to achieve only one victory, let it be this: The end of Bread.



3 thoughts on “The End of Bread

  1. well done.

    it’s been, what, twenty or thirty years since salsa passed catsup as the most popular condiment in the u.s.

    the end of catsup was when i knew that nothing, not even bread, is forever.


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