Perfect Toast Paradox.
Now, if you have not heard of the Perfect Toast Paradox (PTP), let me fill in the details...far from being a film starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg staring longingly at each other as squalls of toasted bread rock the ship (and metaphorically their love for each other), the PTP is a very real and extremely dangerous elemental tear in the space time continuum.
Regular toast masters (not the speech making kind, we are talking about the snackers and the nibblers) are well aware of the pitfalls of making AND eating a PERFECT slice of toast.
It starts with bread selection (obviously) and we cannot and will not dictate which bread or grain should be used. If you are full on wholemeal, you do you.
Perfect Toast is hot enough to melt the butter (or other topping, see below) AND cool enough to eat immediately. It needs a crisp outer layer and a soft inner. It needs to have an initial crunch that sets off your pleasure receptors and then allows your taste buds to get to work.
Perfect toast is as addictive as some Class A drugs.
PTP sets in when the experience is sooooo gosh-darned good, that you opt for 'just another slice'. This reaction to an action is where things get tricky. Despite having researched the paradox exhaustively, scientists are not able to determine what actually happens to a human brain when the PTP sets in.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been referenced, as has everything from Freud to Kanye West.
But no one can explain why one piece of delicious toast can turn into 5 or indeed 5 into 12.
There are many accounts on the Darknet (topical if you read the news), of people going missing for weeks on end after having simply opted for some casual toast munching!
In extreme cases, toast eaters caught in the PTP have been known to resort to sneaking toast sessions in at work or other public places. If you look closely enough, the people that sit in cafes near the plug sockets aren't always charging their phones or laptops. NO, these folk are secretly and illicitly TOASTING.
Toppings are where things get real spicy. Butter? Marge? Syrup? Banana? Jam? Chutney (that's really jam again, isn't it?) Egg? Cheese? Avo-flippin-cado? Dry (heathen). Any of those can alter the duration and destination of your toast based 'high'.
Toasting away from home, where you cannot properly gauge the toaster’s capabilities, is a risky business - many toasters have been left disappointed by the cold on one side and charred on the other chaos theory that bumps into the students of PTP data tracking.
The same can be said for when you allow a partner or loved one to deal out the toasted goodness....it is not a constant.
PTP is an ever-evolving, continually shifting element. You need your wits about you.
So basically, when you return to the physical plane upon which we assume our earthly existence is predicated, a good 45 minutes and at least half a loaf has passed. There's a knife in the butter, a spoon in the jam, a half finished cup of tea/coffee cooling on the sideboard and a mountain of crumbs on a plate/table/over the sink.
The PTP is responsible for many a missed bus/tram/ferry/train/plane/tinder date and is also the primary cause for any number of minor vehicular infractions.
You can spot a toaster by some simple tell-tale signs...crumbs in beard. Jam in perm/splodged on shirt. Butter on sleeve. A slightly singed scent. A bread knife in the pocket. Glazed expression AND most of all, they may well have a toaster under their arm.
You may think that this post has gone overboard with the proclamations of imminent doom and disaster but please, please, PLEASE heed these words the next time you think 'I'll just throw some bread in the toaster, I've got a few minutes to spare...' because believe you me Charlie boy... you ain't!
If you have experienced PTP please share your thoughts below.