Standing in front of the television screen, my ill-fitting work shirt clinging loosely to my torso, I first saw it. The drone of the supermarket in the background gradually faded out to a distant din as it appeared on the screen: the JML Toastabag. The put-in-sandwich-take-out-delicious-toast-a-bag. Someone appeared at my elbow and asked if we had any pants in a size 26… but I didn’t care. I was elsewhere, dancing in fields of roses with a papery companion. I had met the love of my life and no elephant would be ruining this moment with tent requests today. I adored with trembling the sight that lay before me; little boxes of Toastabags below the television screen, waiting to be purchased and loved. It warmed my heart. I couldn’t wait to finish work… soon you would be mine!
And then as quickly as I had been sectioned in the hospital for being particularly susceptible to the advertising of JML, the end of the world happened. Just like that. Not a metaphorical end of the world on account of my brain having been dissolved by clever product placement, but rather a literal one… fiery lakes of acid and limbs being ripped from children, that sort of thing. Unimportant stuff like that. The real burning matter was that I had suddenly found myself with a bag of ingredients that would last a lifetime, a toaster powered by the aforementioned fiery acid, and a JML Toastabag. All rather convenient really. In truth, I had always carried this stuff around with me, just in case. People had always thought I was mad… not so mad now, huh? I did a little dance with the toaster atop my head just to show them how non-mad I was. Well, I would have done, had most of them not been dead. But I still did the dance anyway… corpses or no corpses.
Most of the time I would have cheese and ham on my toastie. Sometimes when I was feeling adventurous, I’d stretch all the way to having some beef paste. But after years of wandering the barren lands, I’d resorted to eating my own fingers just to liven things up a bit. It made it a bit more difficult to actually make the sandwich in the first place, but you’re talking to the person who got told that it wasn’t physically possible to have an intimate relationship with a jellyfish… and 10 months, 4 court cases and several tentacle-laden children later… well, let’s just say I enjoy a challenge.
But the years passed… and my Toastabag started to wear down. I had dangerously continued to use it past the suggested 100 uses… its time was nearing its end. Then one fateful day, my JML Toastabag held its last beef paste and finger sandwich. At the pushing down of the toaster lever with my bleeding stumps, the Toastabag set alight and crumbled suddenly into ashes. Oh such horror! For many days I mourned the loss of my Toastabag, rampaging through the desolate wilderness, assailing any survivors I could find, and eating their spleens.
But spleens could never compare to toasties.
My bag of ingredients was endlessly full, but my heart was empty. My essence had drifted away with the passing of the Toastabag, and as I lay on the floor awaiting death, surrounded by a world ravaged by hurt and suffering, I had only one thought…
Those were joyous days, those of the JML Toastabag.