Editor's Column: The world can no longer waste its heels
By JIM LARSEN
Whidbey News Times Editor
November 9, 2010 · Updated 2:59 PM
In a fit of frugality I will on occasion make a sandwich with the two heels of a store-bought loaf of bread. They’re the thickest and weightiest part of the entire loaf and it seems a waste to throw them away. They’re also tough and chewy as leather, which creates an unsatisfying sandwich experience regardless of the ingredients. The heel overpowers the tuna or turkey inside, and everything tastes like heel, and that isn’t good. I’ll occasionally order a sandwich in one of the island’s delis and they never use the heel. If they did the customer would turn both heels and walk out, never to return to the heels who made such a poor sandwich.
As just demonstrated, the heel of the bread is so bad that the term has come to describe a person who might otherwise be called an “inconsiderate or untrustworthy person,” according to my computer’s dictionary which doesn’t have much to say about anything. That’s why I often refer to Webster’s International Dictionary, Second Edition, Unabridged, which has a lot more to say about everything in its 3,194 pages, including “heel” which directly follows “heehaw,” “the braying of an ass,” as in we just had a heehaw of an election. Webster’s goes on at great length about heel which, musically, is “the nut end of a bow.” It also mentions the end of a loaf of bread, and that someone “at heel” is in “poor plight; in a slovenly, slipshod, or embarrassed condition; seedy.” It says much more, but I’m tired of squinting. The computer dictionary may be sparse but at least I can make the words as large as I want.
Nothing good is said about a heel, which is probably why so many people throw them away without feeling guilty. But think of all the food you’re wasting. If a loaf of bread had 20 slices, then you’re throwing away ten percent. Add it all up, and all those hungry people in the world wouldn’t be hungry if we gave them all those heels, although while chewing they’d wonder, “What inconsiderate or untrustworthy person sent us food aid in such an embarrassing condition?”
To solve the heel problem, all bread should have to be baked in a bundt pan, which as any cake lover knows bakes a circular product. Bundt bread would have no beginning and no end, no alpha and no omega, and hence no heel. Wonder Bread heels wouldn’t be filling every trash can in the nation because there would be no heels, just a perfect circle of bread with a hole in the middle.
Eliminating heels would, unfortunately, still leave us with crust. Millions of kids peel the crust off their sandwiches before eating them and there seems to be no technical way to solve this problem. Even bundt pans result in a crust. We’ll just have to make it illegal to throw away crust, having kids police themselves with their cellphone cameras. Not every kid would go along with this invasion of privacy, but the heels would.Contact Whidbey News Times Editor Jim Larsen at email@example.com or 1-360-675-6611 (ext 5050).