I just thought of something, and I can't be the first person to have this thought because it seems too obvious. People sometimes say that something is "the best thing since sliced bread". You've heard that, right? So, there are a few pressing questions to ask about this.
1) What's so bloody great about sliced bread? Why not the wheel? Or fire? Or "Grand Theft Auto"? Was the slicing of bread so amazingly revolutionary that it can really be considered the greatest invention ever? It's nice, sure, but I think I'd rank air conditioning above cutting a loaf into a bunch of pieces.
2) Why sliced bread, specifically? Why not just regular bread? Bread is awesome and, whilst I'll concede that slicing it certainly makes things easier in the grand scheme of things, it's the actual thing you enjoy, not the way it's served to you. I like raw carrots more than I like them cooked, but I don't spout hyperbole like, "Holy humping crap! That sliced bread is the best thing since raw carrots! But not those crappy cooked carrots. They suck! Get those filthy cooked carrots away from me!" In fact, when you think about it, it would actually be better to have the whole loaf rather than just a tenth of it. (Of course, that might be because I'm fat and greedy.)
3) What was the best thing before bread was sliced? Did people say "that's the best thing since fist-sized chunks of bread"? Or maybe nobody thought that much of bread until it came in handy flat slices. Sort of in the same way nobody paid attention to the band Cornershop's ponderous song "Brimful Of Asha" until Fatboy Slim's remix made it listenable. Was bread an ignored commodoty until some cleverclogs said, "you know how to make this work? Cut it into handy bite-sized chunks!" Since bread's been about for centuries, it was probably "Wow! This is the best thing since not catching the plague!" Perhaps someone actually said that about sliced bread, until it's perceived greatness was recognised.
4) Who decided that sliced bread was the go-to for awesomeness? I think I've made my case here that whilst sliced bread is nice, it's not the be-all to end all, so did I miss the election to decide that when it comes to measuring greatness, sliced bread is the meter stick? What was it up against? What was the result of that election? Sliced Bread: 16, 456, 378, 927 - Free Money: 16, 456, 378, 926 - Pat Buchanan: 5,789. (Assuming that Florida had a say back then.) Surely, even back in ye olden times, there were a million things better than sliced bread. How about the toilet, for one? Is sliced bread really better than being able to take a dump in privacy? Oooohh, I don't think so. I think it's time for a recount, or at least a new election - and let's hope that Diebold aren't big donators to the baking industry.
Sliced bread, indeed. The idea!
A Quiet Place
5 weeks ago