All peoples eat bread. It is a staple of every continent and culture and it abounds in plentiful varieties. Some bake theirs till it makes a dark-brown, hard crust and others, crusts of a lighter hue and softer feel. Some shape it long, thin and round while others carve it in rectangles with mounds on top. Some pack theirs full of extras like fruit and cocoa and others insist on plain and smooth.
In the same way, people have many choices of accompaniments for their bread. Some dip it in wine and others in hot tea. Some slap a sausage between the slices and others cement the slices with cheese. The ones on a diet munch it with chopped greens and those un-worried about thick waist-lines fork it down with scrambled eggs. But this morning, I’m taking my bread with butter.
I’m so hungry, I can finish a bakery; problem is, I don’t have much butter. I’ve run out of eggs and tea is out of the question: I’m not looking to start dozing. What might I do? A few slices, sufficiently buttered, will send my palate into ecstasy but leave my tummy rumbling soon enough. Taking all the slices will fill my tummy but spread the butter too thin and leave me dissatisfied with the whole breakfast experience. We all eat for satisfaction, don’t we? But, should I find mine in a full stomach or in a delightsome experience? My simple meal spawns a teaser.
Since hunger and mental-work don’t live harmoniously, I follow a simple rule of thumb: If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. My glucose-deprived brain cells also remember Mama saying that nine out of ten times the word ‘well’ means quality; and quantity only a tenth of the time. I took two slices, and with a table knife, I buttered a side till all the white of the bread could be seen no more. I pressed them together, swallowed the saliva secreted at the sights and smell, and closed my teeth around it. A million neurons fired!
Later at work, I see a client who has hardly got his perfume retail business up and running but also wants to add a clothing line to it. He pulls out a dossier and shows me all kinds of wonderful projections. He finished by using the cliché I have come to know him for, “We gonna make it big!” I reminded him how he said the same words about his perfume business which, after a year, is yet to break even. He looked at me like I had just poured a swimming pool-full of freezing water on him.
I tried to cheer him up a bit by telling him about my breakfast and how doing everything at once will spread him thin, like little butter on a large loaf. When I finished, he smiled and said that I couldn't put it better. He offered to take me out for brunch at an A-class restaurant; I declined as I am on duty. He countered that it is a business lunch to share more insights with a client. It turned out to be a three-course meal; and a billions neurons repeatedly firing. I bless the day Mama conceived me! Had I disregarded her advice and devoured the whole loaf, I couldn't go beyond the appetizer.