Have you ever seen anyone bring their own bread to a restaurant?

I didn’t think so. Me either. 

A Tuesday breakfast meeting started off normally. That is until we began to order our meals. 

“Here, use this,” the last person to order said as he passed a Ziploc bag down the table to give to the waitress.

Inside the red baggie adorned with snowflakes with a Christmas look was a piece of bread. My friend — let’s call him Steve — wanted it toasted to go with his over medium eggs.

The waitress wasn’t sure what to do. She offered to have a piece of the restaurant’s own bread toasted as she held the baggie up for inspection.

“No. It’s double fiber bread,” Steve said. “It’s ready to go. I’ve got to eat it.”

The exchange got quite the laugh from the rest of us at a table tucked away in the back of the local eatery.

First, Steve had to respond to some good-natured ribbing about the baggie. He quickly assured everyone at the table that the bread did not date back to the holidays. The red Ziplocs were leftover from the holidays and is just what he happened to grab on his way out the door.

“You’ll have the cooks confused,” someone said. “They’ll think it’s already Christmas again.

“It’s bring your own bread day,” one lady deadpanned, and a column was born.

“It’s like eating cardboard,” Steve said.

I nodded in agreement, lamenting the fact that double fiber bread is often the chosen fare at the Bonner household whether I like it or not.

“We’ve got some empty merchandise boxes at the office that you can have,” one man said.

“Is it kind of like Melba Toast?” the lady asked.

“Worse,” I said before Steve had a chance to respond. He simply shook his head and nodded  in agreement.

She made a face.

“Why eat it?” someone asked.

“Because I’m supposed to,” Steve, who has a wry sense of humor, grumbled. “It works.”

We all laughed again.

The volume was cranked up a bit — to the point that others in the restaurant turned to see what was going on — after the aforementioned lady said without cracking a smile, “Oh, it’s the end result that matters?”

“No pun intended?” I asked after the laughter subsided.

“No, pun intended,” she answered without cracking a smile. 

“Pass the pepper,” Steve said when breakfast arrived a few minutes later.

“Do you want butter for your toast?”

“No,” Steve said.

“Honey? Grape jelly?”

“No,” Steve said again as he picked up his lightly toasted piece of double fiber bread and tapped it on the edge of his plate. The sound could not be mistaken — “clunk.” That piece of toast was as hard as a brickbat. It didn’t budge or bend, even though it wasn’t overcooked. 

It looked like cardboard just as Steve had described it. 

Exhibiting great willpower, he ate it without any of the additions that help make the stuff a bit more palatable. No whining, no complaining, just crunch, crunch, crunch with every bite. Come to think of it, it kinda sounded like someone was eating a piece of Melba Toast.

From now on when a waitress asks, “Will that be white or wheat?” I’ll think, “Steve’s double fiber please.” But, I’ll order white every time and will take my fiber in peace at home.



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