Friday, December 27, 2013

A Tale of Two Toasters

I spent Christmas Day at my best friend's place, and lo and behold, there was a gift for me under the tree. He and his wife presented me with a new toaster. It's the one on the right, in the above photo. 
My old one [on the left] was on its last legs, and so this was a very timely gift. 
Because -- I love toast!
I acquired the old toaster 17 years ago, when my girlfriend Juile moved away to Japan and never came back. You could say, I lost a good woman, but gained an even better toaster! The thing has served me well. As I installed the new one in its place beside my microwave, I put the old one in the new box to take down to the garbage area of my building -- but then I got all nostalgic about it. And I got to thinking… [maybe a bit too much, as you will soon find out, if you keep reading…]
Here's the deal --

I always buy the same kind of bread. Country Harvest Ancient Grains -- a fresh loaf of it seen here to the left. Each bag of this particular kind of bread contains 15 slices. Anyone who knows me knows that I never go to work in the morning without first making a sandwich to eat during my first break time.
So -- there goes ten slices of bread every week, for sure. This leaves me with five in the bag, and I can assure you, I consume those other five slices in my weekend breakfasts and late-night snacks. In fact, this is a very conservative figure -- I actually get into a second loaf of bread every week. But for simplicity's sake, let's just round it off and say that I eat, on the average, one loaf of this bread per week.
Each loaf of bread [those 15 slices of it] measure nine inches in length. You can see a ruler alongside the bread in the photo, if you are in need of empirical evidence.
If you multiply that nine inches of bread by 52 [the number of weeks in a year] it comes to 468 inches, or 39 feet -- of like, bread. In other words, a stack of toast 39 feet high, if piled on top of each other. 

If you multiply that amount by the 17 years I've been using that old toaster, it comes to [are you ready for this?] -- a stack of toast measuring 663 feet up into the air.
I found that figure a bit staggering, really.
So I wanted a better visual perspective on what is going on, and found that there are two famous buildings in the world that are exactly 663 feet in height.

The Trump Tower in New York City [to the left] and The Heron Tower in London, England [to the right].
Hence, at a conservative minimum now, if I were to pile all the toast I've made [and eaten] with that old toaster in the past 17 years, the stack of toast would reach up to the very top of these skyscrapers. That's a lot of gluten! Thankfully, I am tolerant.
13,260 slices of toast. Wow!
So -- vertically satisfied with my research I quit thinking about it for a while.
But then, a bit later, I started thinking about it again.
I wondered -- [by now you are thinking I should be placed in an asylum, am I right? Or, that I have the most boring life on earth? Thing is, you would not be too far from the truth on both counts…] anyhow -- I wondered -- what if all that toast was laid out horizontally, end to end?
So I measured three slices, and then extrapolated with a calculator. Turns out that each loaf of bread is 65 inches or 5.41 feet long, when laid out end to end. This means that I have been eating [again, a minimum] of 281.6 feet of bread per year. Multiplied by 17 years, this amounts to 4,788 feet, or the equivalent of 9/10ths of a mile of toast. For my Canadian and European metric system friends -- this translates to 1.46 kilometres.
In conclusion, I know what you're thinking at this point -- you're thinking:
No wonder that Julie girl left him!



Stefanie said...

So hard to part with a trusty toaster! It served you well. I love toast too! I don't eat as much of it as I'd like. I do have a sandwich every work day though and sometimes I wish the bread were toasted! So I don't think your calculations crazy at all because I have probably eaten a similar amount of bread myself, toasted and not toasted, over the past 17 years. It's astonishing! I wonder how much the stuff we put on our bread adds up to? How many pounds of peanut butter and ounces of jelly? How much mustard and tofu/deli slices? Or in my case, bananas! I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I must have eaten a whole grove of bananas by now! I hope your new toaster serves you well!

Kay said...

You're funny.