Monday, September 08, 2008

The 100 Greatest Things Of All Time: #95

We're back online here at Corn Chips & Pie with the countdown of the 100 Greatest Things Of All Time. The honeymoon was lovely; thanks for asking.

#95: The breakfast sandwich

I've asked my reclusive neighbor, who also happens to be a published author beloved by children of all ages 21-29 (male), to write a few words about one particular breakfast sandwich. Here goes:

Wilmer Ochocinco was a Dominican immigrant and Washington Heights corner store employee with a taste in paranoia that borrowed heavily from, indeed was being crushed under an unsupportable debt to, childhood memories of Spanish-language translations of In Search Of, with a peculiar focus on the Rosenheim Events of the late 1960s. Ochocinco spent most of his time waiting for a shadowy dispensation neither feared nor even secretly desired, when you got right down to it, which left his nerves in a state that less seasoned hands might dismiss as benign boredom, but whose silences and empty spaces could be inhabited by spores with baroque potential and sinister intent, if intent could even be read in those mindless, antic, and ultimately relentless algorithms borne on the winds of daily life, eager to settle into just such an empty little vessel as offered by his ennui. So he kept vigilant and active, making eggs and frying bacon with more than the customary degree of vigor.

On the morning in question, a rather doughy, if not in fact porcine, customer was sniffing around the deli counter but had as yet failed to place an order. Ochocinco, a true pro, continued his prep work alongside the other deli-counter cooks with apparent inattention but quietly flexed his leg muscles, waiting to leap toward the grill in cheery solicitousness. Then he felt it: an undeniable chill passing through his right arm. There was the far-off sound of wind chimes. An egg cracked… the egg seemed to fry itself, a piece of thermodynamic mischief entirely unaided by any visible sources of combustion, in what the few observers who would willingly discuss the phenomenon would come to describe as an act made in the spirit of self-improvement prevailing during the decade.

A slice of Boar’s Head Vermont Cheddar cheese joined the fun by leaping unbidden upon the auto-fried ovum, and two bagel halves spilled out of the toaster oven, a pleasing golden brown. Ochocinco had no memory of toasting this bagel.

“A-and a slice of ham, please!” added the customer, rapidly acclimatizing to the day’s miracles and moving quickly on to the day’s salted protein demands. And so it was done, but not by human hand. Not by living human hand. Ochocinco and the boys, faces flushed and nerves pleasantly jangled by the presence of this spectral helpmeet, began to sing:

Oh, we’re – the –
Cooks at your bodega,
Breakfast is served!
Whippin’ up an egg, a
Slice of cheese,
If you please!
Throw on some ham
And toast that buttered roll
Poltergeists welcome,
But please don’t steal my soul!

The 100 Greatest Things Of All Time: So Far
100: The 1989 Honda Civic LX sedan (manual transmission)
99: Weird dream that a Merychippus had one time
98: The sun
97: Pharrell Williams
96: A shack near San Gregorio, CA
95: The breakfast sandwich