“Bread is life [except no, it isn’t]”

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I think the radiant heat from his oven has slowly cooked this baker’s brain. At least the part of it responsible for deductive reasoning.

We’ve heard it said that a person’s livelihood is their bread and butter; that the material provider for a household is the breadwinner; that something is innovative and revolutionary when it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But neither Emma nor I have ever heard a phrase that claims “bread is life”, as per the quote from a cartoon baker on this packet (see right) of Trader Joe’s multigrain.

Graciously allowing for phrases that involve, but don’t specifically mention, bread still finds us wanting. Half-baked doesn’t come close. A baker’s dozen simply means 13 (and alludes to the generosity/dyscalculia of bakers). What about as warm as toast? Nope. No matter how you slice it, bread ≠ life.*  

But we’re fair people. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say we accept that there is, in some remote enclave, a popularised saying that asserts “bread is life”. Exactly what population of humans, in what remote enclave, could possibly think 6 grams of sugar per slice promotes bread as being synonymous with life? Life shouldn’t be so sweet. If Emily Creasy is on the money, 6 grams is way above average. This is especially damning given the continued and widespread reporting on the insidious health effects of our high-sugar diets.

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But, again, we’re fair and open-minded people so…

Perhaps the enigmatic group, to whom the “They” in “They say bread is life” refers, is the same They as represented in the film They Live. That is to say:


Is it even possible that “bread is life” is a phrase coined by extraterrestrials? Yes, is the short answer.

That the idiom of an alien race has been translated into English and erroneously thrust unto a human public seems the only plausible answer. Specifically an alien race whose biology has evolved an Übermensch pancreas (though they didn’t cover this bit in They Live). For it would take a truly herculean pancreas to generate insulin in quantities sufficient to regulate that amount of sugar. Maybe not even aliens with huge pancreata, but who just are huge pancreata; huge wobbly organ beings, wobbling around, foisting their will and incompatible life lessons on us. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Certainly could’ve been for Bill Hicks (I’m not being a shithead. Bill would’ve liked that joke).

Or maybe it has nothing to do with aliens. Maybe the answer to the riddle lies in the ignorance of a backward cartoon people, contentedly preoccupied with the bread-centric “drama” of their own lives.

Inane. This woman has no idea whatsoever about what's going on in Syria.

Inane. This woman has no idea whatsoever about what’s going on in Syria.

*We’re going to start typing, in bold, phrases that we think you should have tattooed on yourselves. We recommend styling these phrases in Old English, Gothique or Kanji.

Or whatever this font is, if you want…


Artist: Anonymous
Font: Unknown
Image: Bent crack spoon



One Response to “Bread is life [except no, it isn’t]”

  1. Paul Wood says:

    Alien cannot live on bread alone.

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