Teaching In Socks

Bread winning
January 21, 2010, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

I apologize for the delay between posts. There have been a number of changes here at Teaching in Socks HQ. I’ll  probably talk about those at some point, but for now I would like to stay on the lighter side of things and talk about bread.

For the first few weeks I lived in Japan, I was confused about how sometimes after making a few sandwiches during the week I would end up with an extra, lone slice of bread and other times the math would work out perfectly. It took me a little while, but then I realized the large number printed on the side of the bread bag had some significance. “6” a bag with six slices of bread and “5” equals a bag with five marginally thicker slices of bread. I’ll will admit that despite having bought bread numerous times in the U. S., I am ignorant of American bread customs and standards. I feel like the denotation of the number of slices is something only bakeries and fancy breads do. In fact, I can never recall seeing a number on the side or a bread bag. Sizes I understand; “sandwich”, “thick”, “Texas toast”. Numbers, however, are new to me.

Pick a side Fatty

This predicament made me wonder, who buys the bags of five slices. I mean, presumably they are the same amount of bread divided up differently, but Japanese bread is already extra thick. Why would you want less slices. Taking a bag of five slices not only hampers your rationing ability but it completely bungles your sandwich math. I get the draw of thicker slices–Texas Toast is the greatest invention since somewhat thickly sliced bread–but even then I feel like the wizards at the bread factory are smart enough to put in a even number of slices.

When I was in High School, I stupidly and briefly took a job as a sandwich artist at Quiznos. I never stayed long enough to learn how to make any of the sandwiches, but I did learn how to cut them (diagonally) and how to apply lettuce (liberally, by the fistful). One night one of my jackass friends came in an order a sandwich. While he was razzing me and making ridiculous toppings requests, I proceeded to cut his 12-inch sandwich into twelve slices. What’s important here is not that you shouldn’t be a jerk to a person preparing you a sandwich (actually that is important) but that i cut the sandwich into an even number of slices. Why? because those are the mathematical law under which bread should operate.

“What about the Big Mac” you say? The Big Mac is not a sandwich, it is a burger and it is an atrocity. What about Club Sandwiches? Club sandwiches are awesome, but I dare you to tell me that they wouldn’t be better if the middle slice of bread was actually two thin slices of bread (law of evens) and if there was a little more bacon (maybe two slices up top and two slices down below).

Anyway, I see the decision to offer bags with five slices of bread as a shot across the bow in a war on sandwichry. Slicing and packing bread in odd numbered slices presumes that their is some alternative or superior usage for bread. This is foolish, and petty.  Don’t be surprised if you hear about The Sendai Sandwichcraft Trials  (I’m sorry). I should have been suspicious simply fact that they call bread by it’s french name, “pan” (in France are pans called “bread”?).

I feel like this bread predicament is just another issue that forces people apart instead of bringing them together. We are all forced into one camp or another. Are you a Coke or a Pepsi person? Leno or Letterman? Ford or Chevy? 6 slices or 5? Every time the clerk scans my items at the check out she labels me a look that says “you are a 6”. It’s degrading. I am not a number, I am a free, sandwich-eating man.