Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?
“So…wait. I’m confused. Say that one more time.”
“I said ‘you slice the bread.’ See? Like this.”
“Mmm…no. Sorry, I’m still confused man. I just don’t get it. Why would you slice your bread? It’s perfectly fine as a loaf!”
sigh “Yeah, loaves are great. But don’t you dream of something more.”
“What more is there dude? Bread in a loaf form is as far as we can take the technology. There’s just nowhere else for bread to go.”
“But look, can’t you see the possibilities? You slice it like this and then you put your mutton in between the slices. It’s easier to eat your mutton, bro. See?”
“……holy shit dude……I see now. It’s so clear. It’s so beautiful. I’m sorry I ever doubted you. This….this is the best thing since….well…since…..this is the BEST THING EVER!”
That’s how I imagine in my mind how the invention of sliced bread came to be. You see, with the best inventions– the greatest inventions of all time– most people just don’t see it coming. Then, like a brick wrapped in lemon, it hits you smack in the face and changes the entire world.
Take the alphabet for instance. One day, all these people somewhere got so sick and tired of being limited by communication through speaking, waving their arms around, or stabbing each other that they came up with a standardized set of symbols that they could mix and match to create different spellings and meanings of words and ideas. They woke up the next morning and boom, life had changed. Now they could start writing about their lives, sending mail, writing sacred books, passing on beautiful pieces of poetry and prose, and most importantly: start talking shit through written form and incessantly correcting each other’s poor grammar and punctuation choices. Life was better.
Or let’s look at the telephone. That was a game changer for sure. We can thank Mr. Alexander Graham Bell for allowing us to speak with distant relatives while chilaxin’ poolside in sunny California, and feel less guilty for failing to visit them in the middle of the frozen tundra that is the mid-west even one time in the last eight years. Nowadays we take it for granted that we pretty much all have small miniature computers that we carry around in our pockets and can call anyone at anytime, so long as you haven’t yet drained your smartphone’s battery from trying to load porn GIFs. But, there was a time when the world did not have the technology to directly and immediately communicate with each other over long distances. Think about that. Think about how different the world would be without telephones. The telephone was a big deal. But was it the best deal since sliced bread?
Maybe so, maybe not. Perhaps that title goes to the internet itself. I mean, the internet was such a big deal that it has pretty much single-handedly changed how we do everything. Have you finally worked up the nerve to tell your entire office that you think Tracy is a huge slut and you are done working for this god-damn company? No sweat. We’ve got email for that kind of thing. You want to send money overseas to your buddy who really wants to try skydiving but can’t afford it and he promises he’ll pay you back dude really I promise it won’t be like last time? Here you go friend. And thanks, internet! With the invention of the internet came a surge of information being transmitted nearly instantaneously over the entire world. We’ve got a HUGE library of Wiki pages, forums, videos, music, games, and abandoned Geocities websites. You can sell your used underwear, right now, to someone on the other side of the globe. Seriously. I’ve done it. Ok not really but it is amazing that if I wanted to, I could. And that’s just scratching the surface of what is available because of this crazy thing called the world wide web. And it’s all for free. Well, kind of. I mean you still have to pay for it. So I guess it’s not free at all. It’s the opposite of free. BUT it’s a really good bargain don’t you think? It’s 2015, and after more than three decades of the internet being around, it’s hard to think of one facet of life that has not been effected by it. And that’s the mark of a great invention.
There are just too many inventions out there to mention. I feel like a list is in order. Some “runner-ups” for some of my personal favorite inventions include:
- metal detectors
- cheddar cheese
- large wigs
- Ninja Warrior
- electric guitar
- toilet paper
In conclusion, I’m hungry and I’m going to stop writing now to go get a tasty meal from another of my favorite inventions: Subway. I only eat the flatbread because of its superior taste and texture, and its much more forgiving disposition towards my digestive system, but if I ordered some Oats and Honey or Parmesian bread I would take a minute to give thanks to sliced bread and the countless men and women who put together all of the amazing inventions that have come before it and after it and changed life for the better. There are some really big ones out there that deserve our respect. Well that about does it. What are your favorite inventions?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sliced Bread.”