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A letter to bagels from toast

March 18, 2012
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE ( , Times-Republican

Dear jerk/bagel,

What. The. Heck. What's your deal? You're hogging my action and it's time you're called out on it. This "oh look at me, I'm soooo special and tasty" demeanor of yours has got to stop. Consider this your first and only warning.

Look, I had a pretty good thing going before you came along. "Breakfast of champions." That was me. OK, maybe that's Wheaties, but it could be applied to me too. I'm a staple on Perkins' Tremendous Twelve" for crying out loud (something that you're NOT on I might add, not even as an option. So suck on that.).

I was riding high. Living the good life. The number one go-to wheat-based breakfast selection. There was a time when you wouldn't see me accompanying a healthy helping of scrambled eggs, sausage, hashbrowns and/or even pancakes. Pancakes! People were already stuffed full of flour but still there I was on the side of the plate hanging on for dear life, cut into perfect little triangles looking as adorable (and delicious) as could be.

I was as comforting and familiar as a pair of old shoes. And then here YOU come, barging in on my territory like you're King Awesome. What's that? "Breakfast of Champions" was actually a novel by Kurt Vonnegut? See, it's this type of "know-it-all, I'm-better-than-you" elitist attitude I'm talking about. The act is getting old and nobody likes it.

You might be thinking, "Hey, this is coming out of nowhere." I can assure you, it is not. You've had this coming. Don't act like you haven't. And don't give me that "What about pancakes and English muffins?"


Being batter-based, pancakes aren't even in the same category. And I'm fine with English muffins staking their claim to eggs Benedict - frankly, I think it's cute. The only thing these two have in common is their place on the breakfast chain of power, which is firmly below ME in the pecking order - which is where YOU belong.

These days I can't turn around without finding you huddled together inside a rotating glass display case like you're the Crown Jewels. Let me clarify: you are NOT the Crown Jewels; you are an inferior glutinous bread product. Nothing more.

Let's talk flavors. In my mind there's only two you need: white and wheat. Simple. Easy. Sure, I experimented some with rye and pumpernickel, but onion? Parmesan basil? Spinach & Monterrey jack cheese? Who are you trying to impress, bagel? Nobody can be that desperate for attention.

I'm like your everyday girl - I wear jeans and a T-shirt and maybe a little makeup. I don't have to be all gussied up, covered in seeds and presenting themselves to the world like you're Cher on tour.

Not only do you have to be boiled, it's recommended you have to be "proofed" first? What does that even mean? Oh, it means you have to "rest" for 10-12 hours before you can be baked? Talk about high-maintenance.

"Bagel and coffee shops." That's all the world needs. Not. There are no toast-and-eggnog eateries. Do you know why? It's because it's something that the world doesn't need. Like "oxygen bars." That doesn't even make sense. And neither do you.

It's said the first known reference to you is in Krakow in 1610 and you were an item given as a gift to women in childbirth. This makes perfect sense, as women in unbearable pain need something tough and leathery to bite down on.

Impressed I knew that, bagel? Know thy enemies. First rule in the Art of War. Or third rule. It might not even be a rule. But it's pretty smart. And I knew it. But I suppose that's not something you'd concern yourself with, what with you hanging out in dressing rooms of celebrities all day.

Why else am I superior? I'm glad you asked. Nobody ever found the Virgin Mary in their Orange Cranberry bagel. That's because the Virgin Mary is classy and has more self-respect, choosing to manifest on the magnificent wheat easel that is Me. There's also this thing called French toast. Heard of it? Nobody's heard of a French bagel before, and rightfully so. Point: toast.

You think you're soooo special, don't you? "Bagel Tuesdays", "Hey everyone, let's get some bagels for Karen's birthday!" Since when are bagels a celebratory food? Ever heard of cake? Nobody picks up toast. Yeah, maybe I'm a little jealous. But there's only so much one can take, and I'm firmly at my breaking point.

It's high time you packed up your sourdough and head back to Krakow where you came from. I'd threaten to stab you, but that'd just go through your oh-so-convenient middle hole.

Wipe that smile off your face. You are NOT that cool.


Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via choreographed penguin interpretive dance.



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