Toast and Jam

We resorted to toast and jam for breakfast this morning. We’d run out of cereal and the thought of a chilly pajama dash to the shops was too much to bear.

Wowee, you’re thinking, this is whiz-bang stuff. Toast and jam. Tell me more.

Don’t worry. It’s not your fault you were cursed with a sarcastic tone of voice. I know you’re fascinated by this.

The toast and jam turned out to be delicious, but this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Whenever I eat toast and jam I think, “This is the business. From now on, I’m a toast-and-jam man,” but then I forget all about it and don’t have it again for years.

Something in the jam must wipe my memory. An amnesiac pectin, evolved in the wild to stop jam becoming popular among predators.

I could barely restrain myself. I had six slices. Three of strawberry jam and three of black-tea-and-pear jam. (Christmas hamper in case you’re wondering).

As I spread the jam between rounds, I took pride in getting the jam efficiently into the four corners of the bread (not much of a problem if you use bagels) and making sure there were no uneven patches. It made me feel like a master brick-layer who’d taken a blow to the head, retained all of his brick-laying prowess but inexplicably started using fruit preserve in place of mortar.

And this little fantasy occurs to me every time too. But for some reason, toast and jam remains my absolute last breakfast choice. I almost accept it as a punishment for having not done the groceries on time.

It’s the height of breakfast luxury and it’s one of the easiest things in the world. There’s nobody out there saying “I wish I could have toast and jam but I can’t really justify it, the way the economy’s going.”

This time, I’m going to commit to it. I’ll be loyal. I’m going to save up the golliwog tokens and send away for the brooches.

But all of this is a waste of ambition if I don’t remember it. I never learn. This is why I’m writing this in my diary today. Dear Diary: I had toast and jam for breakfast this morning and I enjoyed it. I always enjoy it. Try and remember that this time.

It’s the same with grapes. Whenever I buy grapes and sit around eating them in bed or on the chaise, I feel like a hedonistic emperor, the lord of all I survey. “This is the business,” I think, and then I don’t buy them again for a year. It’s very, very odd.

Feeding the ducks. That’s another one. If, for some reason, I end up going to a park and feeding the ducks, I’m struck by how fine an activity it is. Pulling bits off the loaf and flipping them into the pond. Superb. It’s probably been three years since I last did that.


If it doesn’t work this time, I’ll have those words tattooed on my body like the bloke from Memento.

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