The greatest thing since sliced bread

The other night I said to someone, “I reckon you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

It made me wonder if they had to invent bread knives to come up with sliced bread. In which case, wouldn’t bread knives be the greatest invention? Or maybe the first slice of bread was accidental – maybe a baker fell off his bike and some sharp glass on the road sheared off a perfectly formed slice of bread. And then the baker just sat there stunned, thinking, “This is fantastic! If only there was some way we could replicate this perfectly formed slice of bread in a consistent fashion!”

Maybe he tried to modify a range of existing implements for the job – an axe, a saw, a bucket – until he had his eureka moment, and he modified a knife. And thus, both bread knives and sliced bread were born.

As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out on which is the finer invention.

Something that is not the greatest thing since sliced bread (look at the segue!!) is this extract from a letter from internet provider Optus to me:

From 1 June 2007 the monthly access fee of your DSL plan, should you have connection speeds of 512/128 kbps, will be increased by $2 due to increased costs associated with this service. Rest assured your monthly data allowance and connection speed will not change.

My response:

Dear Optus,

thank you for informing me of upcoming changes to some DSL plans. I am relieved that the $2 increase will not apply to my household, as we are yet to get even remotely close to the connection speeds of 512 kbps suggested by our plan. In fact, even if we had exceeded our download limit, and you restricted our speed to the threatened 64 kbps, it would still be faster than the 28 – 31 kbps that we usually achieve*. I was disappointed to note that our connection speed would not change as a result of the increased costs associated with the CEO’s bonus this service. I have heard rumors that a Youtube video can be watched all the way through without having to pause while it loaded – I imagine it is probably a myth, but all the same, I wanted to check.

Yours Sincerely,


*And no, it’s not the computer

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2 thoughts on “The greatest thing since sliced bread

  1. Hutz says:

    1. I have a feeling that the reference to the best thing since sliced bread is actually a nod to being able to mass produce sliced bread, rather than a chap furiously wielding a bread knife.
    2. Can I plagiarise the text of your letter to send to my ISP (not Optus) please?

  2. monkeybizness says:

    1. I like to think not.
    2. Of course you can use it. This is an open forum of sharing, take whatever you need. Except if you’re going to make money from it, in which case let me know how to do it.

    If anyone needs me to write shallow, sarcastic letters to multinationals / bureaucracies, just let me know – I’ll be happy to cobble something together for you.

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