Toast of Tardiness

New mystery anthology cover illustration offers a witty twist on the “Toast of Tardiness” trope:

If you’re into manga and anime, you’ve probably seen it before. The so-called “Toast of Tardiness” trope in which a schoolgirl, late for school, rushes out of her home with a piece of toast in her mouth, only to collide into a boy at the street corner, has been used and parodied so many times it almost needs no introduction …

As a schoolgirl with a slice of bread in her mouth runs towards the corner, we can see the end result of innumerable “encounters” on the ground, and a highly unconventional warning sign showing two people bumping into each other. How could so much bread pile up in one place? How could there possibly be so many incidents at the same corner in such short succession that nobody had time to clean up the mess? And then the mystery deepens when you realize that, in addition to plain toasts, untoasted slices, and toast with jam, there are also things which couldn’t possibly survive a full-speed dash in such pristine condition like toast with a thick slice of bacon and an egg sunny side up neatly resting on top, not to mention things which wouldn’t even fit in a schoolgirl’s mouth, like a whole loaf of bread or a package of sliced bread.

What is this corner? Is it a convergence point between multiple dimensions? A rift in the space-time continuum? The mystery deepens the more you consider all the possibilities and implications. Of course, these details could simply be added for laughs, but the overall effect creates a clever juxtaposition between the ordinary and the extraordinary.


See the post for the cover art. It cracks me up every time I see it.

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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

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