This Thanksgiving, Let’s Toast to…

This is an odd time of year. Women begin to inexplicably place gourds throughout the house and the Internet is abuzz with demands that we put flightless birds in seasoning socks and roast them upside down. It’s also a stressful time of year. I can hear the entire country yelling, “I thought we had a gravy boat!” and “Apparently aunt Jackie is bringing uncle Walt with her. Can you check if CVS carries hemorrhoid donuts?”

All the chaos makes it tragically easy for us to forget about our year-round favorite food: Toast.


I’ve surprised you haven’t I? But isn’t toast a fascinating and beautiful creation? I find it frightening to consider that if it weren’t for an insane syphilitic settler in the colonies brave enough to proclaim, “I will cut this bread and then I will cook it again, over an open flame, until it becomes warm and slightly crispy!” we might live in a cold and nasty world without toast. Thank you sick person. Thank you. For you have provided us with life’s greatest butter delivery system. Were it not for you, kids would be eating simple cheese sandwiches like inmates in a child prison, instead of enjoying the wonders of warm, soothing, and civilized, grilled cheese sandwiches. That’s all you, toast; take a bow.

If it weren’t for toast, what, I ask, might happen to the runny yolks of fried eggs? Would they go uneaten and stain all our plates yellow forever, or would we resort to savagery by licking them up like packs of wild jungle rats?

What would Jason Good eat 7 times per day were it not for toast? Perhaps miniature Hershey’s Krackel bars? That would almost certainly lead him to an early appointment with angioplasty. He owes his life to toast.

Has toast ever asked for anything in return? Has it ever said, “Hey people, how about a little kick back? GREASE MY PALMS YOU UNGRATEFUL SACKS OF GARBAGE!” Has toast ever taken it personally when we throw it away like an old shoe the moment it becomes room temperature? Or that we occasionally use it as a makeshift frisbee or cat toy? No. Toast is here for us, just lying there quietly on the counter, steaming and waiting patiently to provide its free melting services. Toast is a tiny delicious plate that melts things for you: one part edible platter, one part microwave, and all parts fantastic. Without toast, we would be liquefying butter with a camp stove and pouring it over our faces in confusion.

Considering everything that toast has done for us, we should, at the very least, include her in our annual feast. Please, as we spend tomorrow being thankful for our loved ones and our food, let toast be not only part of your feast, but also a member of your family. Give toast a seat at your table. Just make a piece, and put it in a chair. If your family says Grace, perhaps ask the toast if it would like to say a few words. It will simply stare at you, because it’s bread, but trust me, it will have appreciated the offer.

You’re thinking, “I like the idea of being thankful for toast, but no one will want to sit next to the toast!” Untrue: the youngest child in attendance will love sitting next to that piece of toast. If you draw a face and mustache on it, even uncle Walt will casually express interest in sitting next to Mr. Toast. Everyone will be talking about the toast. What a surreal meal that will be! For generations, you will go down as the family member who once insisted that a piece of toast with eyes, a nose, and a mustache drawn on it with a brown sharpie, be given a seat at the feast ing table.

Everyone will remember this Thanksgiving as the last meal they had with you before you were sent away to a home where you can rest and learn that drawing a face on a piece of toast and treating it like your child, isn’t sane behavior. Try it anyway and let me know how it goes.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

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