20100707_BreadTab Click to see this photo's flickr page
I was toasting my
toast, uh, bread the other morning, squinting at the bread bag tab. As with many things in life, I thought, "Ooh, I should save this and draw it".
Yes, this explains the many random things collected around here.
I figured I'd be drawing a nice, small, flat squarish tab: easy peasy. And then, squinting even more, I went, "Hey! What's with all these contortions?! All these extra little teeth! What?!".
When was the last time you looked at a bread bag tab, up close? When did closing up and securing a bag of bread become so serious and complex a task?
I've discovered that in matters of bread bag closing, when we get down to the last 4 or so pieces of bread, the tag disappears. Either it breaks, I'm guessing, or it flies off and disappears into the gap between the stove and the countertop, or someone else [ahem] is too impatient to twist the bag tightly enough to fit the bag through the hole of the tab. It's quite an art, holding the bag at its end with one hand, then giving the bread a good healthy twirl and watching the bag spin itself tightly enough so that you can wedge it all back into the little plastic tab. There are small flourishes in every day life, and for me, watching that bread bag twirling is one of them.
So, after having to correct my drawing so that it more accurately reflects what I'm seeing and pondering it all, I'm guessing the tabs on the outsides are part of some continuous manufacturing. They seem like the little nubs left and right would fit and lock into place, side by side. I can imagine these being stamped out or being injection molded, by the gazillions. Ka-chung, ka-chung, ka-chung.
But those extra teeth in the actual cinching hole?
Life really has gotten to be quite a challenge, hasn't it, that we need just a little bit more tooth, to keep everything tied together, to protect what we have when there's just a little bit of ourselves left that we're trying to keep tidy, to keep things from falling out or drying up...
It's serious business, this little bread bag tab, and this life.