Flying Toast

Back in the days when I lived in Kid-Dom…
(You know… like childhood but you didn’t know that… I mean I didn’t know that.) 
A time when you were under the impression that all of your discoveries were yours alone; it was kind of like inventing the wheel.
In order to draw a correlation between how it was then and how it is now, I call upon experiences. Like always, throughout history somethings never change. Two things persist: the emotional aspect of cause and effect and the wonderment over what they will come up with next.
I doubt if there has ever been a period in time when fathers and sons didn’t enjoy the togetherness of learning how to do things and discussing what it was like for the poor souls preceding them without the luxury and conveniences of the modern tools they currently enjoy.
My Dad and I marveled over the way the extremely popular comic strip character “Dick Tracy” made use of his wristwatch. Few people in that era had their own telephones let alone a wristwatch that they could use to talk to one another.
My father, mother, and grandparents escaped from Europe by boat. They never dreamed that someday their own relatives would even think of returning to Europe on vacations by use of an airplane. Nonstop flights weren’t even a possibility across the United States let alone the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
My father talked about the number of days it took for a letter to go from New York to California amazed at the fact that it only required a four-cent stamp.
And the beat goes on…
The lifestyle improvements are endless. My memories of conversations with my father Charles are vivid.
Without gadgets…
But the most lasting reveries I will always have belonged to the laughing we did.  It was almost constant. Can you imagine – the two of us never missed a day laughing about something together?
Of course I recognize that most things are funniest when they are taking place. Most incidents lose a thing or two in the translation of the event. Knowing this as a fact, I’m still going to relate a laugh that became an event.
One, by the way, that drove my mother up the wall…
“Blondie and Dagwood” were the two characters in a series of movies staring Arthur Lake and Penny Singleton. Their origin was a comic strip bearing the same name Blondie and Dagwood, The Bumsteads that was well known and read from coast to coast. People like my dad were into just about everything the Bumstead family and their neighbors were involved with.
One of the films shows Dagwood tinkering in his home workshop with the family toaster, which refuses to bring the slices of bread to the top once they were toasted. In the next scene, Dagwood enters the house from his shop, toaster in hand, with his goofy smile announcing to the family how he had fixed it. Cut to the next morning at breakfast. Blondie stands at the counter waiting for the toast to come up. The end result being that Dagwood had fixed it all right, but when the toaster pops up, the toast comes flying out and Dagwood jumps across the room to make a saving catch.
My dad thought this was one of the funniest things he had ever seen. He proudly announced, “You know Harv, our toaster is just like the one they have.”
“Yeah,” I said, “but ours isn’t broken.”
My dad was quick to reply that it would ultimately loosen up and we could have the same problem as Dagwood.
I doubt if either of us gave it much thought after that initial discussion. Who would have thought that our toaster would begin firing toast into the air the very next week?
We were at breakfast awaiting the toaster to do its normal job. As was his normal procedure when eating, my dad concentrated on the food and nothing else.
Then it happened.
The toaster’s spring came loose and a piece of toast came flying across the room in my father’s direction. At the very moment of toast propulsion, my dad was in the process of shoveling a fork full of scrambled eggs into his mouth with his left hand. Without hesitation, or noticeably looking up, he extended his right arm and caught the flying toast in his hand. Then, without saying a word, he began buttering the errant slice of bread.
My mother, sister, and I stared at him in disbelief.
He looked up from his plate and said with a straight face, “What?” As if he did that every day of his life.
The room erupted with laughter…
I guess you would have to have been there in order to appreciate the humor of the moment.
From that day forward, toast became a funny word.

One Comment

  1. Child hood memories are so important to who we are. My brothers and I still tell stories about things our DAD said or did. Harv,we're fortunate to have been raised when we were and to have these grand memories. Thanks for sharing.

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