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Top Half of the Bagel

Going Small(er)

Top Half of the Bagel

Marc Scattergood

Ages ago, when we still considered indulging in refined carbs, there was the Chonga bagel.

The Chonga bagel was a delight --cheese, onion, garlic (get it? CH-ON-GA), with a sprinkling of seeds and melted fromage on top. Freshly toasted and with liberal cream cheese application, it promised a full on carb coma and guaranteed personal space at any group meeting one might be forced to attend (I can hear Stanley Tucci saying, "Did someone eat an onion bagel?")

By the time we discovered the Chonga bagel, our carb consumption was already in decline; therefore, it was to be considered a treat. We would hoard our carb allocation and splurge on the Chonga, joyously anticipating its fresh from the toaster arrival, carefully adhering cream cheese to every possible point. We'd savor the idea all week, and when the time finally came, we'd eat the bottom half first, the better to save the, erhm, "culmination" of our gustatory extravaganza when we had the top half, with its liberal application of cheese and garlic.

Until one day, a friend noticed our delayed gratification tactics, and asked us why we did it that way. We went through the whole spiel: the one treat of the week, how special it was, how the top was the best part, save the best for last!

And then she asked "What happens if you don't get to the best part?"

There's lots of axioms out there about enjoying life in the moment. Life is short, eat dessert first. Life is short, it's up to you to make it sweet.
Life is too short to wait.

These sayings pile up and accumulate, and over time, they just lose their meaning. It takes something peculiar, something personal, for them to regain their power. And for us, it's this: "Life's short. Eat the top half of the bagel first."

For us, that's become a benchmark for decision making. When we're thinking about a new experience, or a change in our lives, we now try and apply our Top Half of the Bagel standard.

Is this something we will regret not doing?

Even if we end up deciding it wasn't for us, is it a mistake to pass up on the opportunity?

How will this experience have a positive impact?

What can we learn or do that we haven't done before?

Possibly paraphrased quote by Homer J. Simpson

Possibly paraphrased quote by Homer J. Simpson


Carbs, folks. They're magical.