Toast

It was just sitting there, calling to me. I was powerless.

I love toast. I desire toast with butter and jam, and I must have it.

In the morning and late at night – especially late at night.

My tummy rumbles, and there’s only one way to stop it.

Toast.

I found this chrome goddess in a second-hand store.

I’m pretty sure they didn’t know what they had.

An early 1950s Sunbeam T20, with the art deco design embossed into the body.

I asked them to switch it on, but they didn’t know how.

“You’ll need a slice of bread. It won’t run without one,” I said, and the attendant looked at me like I’d landed on this planet quite recently.

He searched for the handle that all toasters have — the handle you push down on to make the bread descend.

“It doesn’t have one,” I said, and there was that look again.

“Put it behind the counter,” I said, “I’ll go and get some bread and be right back. Don’t sell it to anyone.”

My look told him what would happen if he did.

The milk bar on the corner was out of bread — of course they were.

I legged it up the street and across the road, narrowly being missed by a four-wheel drive.

The bread aisle was way down the back — an old grocer’s trick, make them walk past everything else just to get to what they need — milk and bread.

“I got some,” I said as I undid the packet. Several slices spilled onto the floor. The attendant went to bend down and pick them up.

“Don’t worry about those. Go get the toaster.”

The attendant did what he was told and placed the toaster on the glass counter. Then, he bent down behind the counter and plugged the toaster into the power socket.

With a flourish, I gently placed two slices of bread in the slots on top of this chrome beauty.

I stood back as the bread magically lowered itself into the toaster.

“How the hell did it do that?” said the attendant.

“It magic,” I said, “or levers and metals that expand at different temperatures, but mostly magic.”

The attendant put his hand on the chrome surface and promptly burned himself.

“This thing is more than sixty years old. No safety back in those days,” I said as the attendant sucked his burnt fingers.

There was a click, and the bread slowly rose up and revealed itself.

“Got any butter? Jam?” I said.

The attendant disappeared into the stockroom and emerged with a knife, butter and jam.

An old English dinner plate appeared out of nowhere, and I buttered and jammed the perfectly toasted bread.

I handed the attendant a piece, and I devoured the other.

We licked our fingers, and I gave him the asking price.

“Never seen a toaster do that before,” he said as he looked for a box to put the slowly cooling toaster in.

“And you probably won’t. “ I said. “Too expensive to make. They were todays equavilent of about three hundred bucks. Very few people want to pay to see magic toast.”

“And you paid fifteen dollars for it?” said my hungry husband.

“Yep. Quite a bargain, if I do say so.”

I had toast and soup for lunch, and we had toast and pate for supper.

My husband thinks I’m slightly obsessed, and he might be right.

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