I honestly do not know how big of a deal sliced bread was when it was first introduced. Were there people losing their minds over how difficult it was to properly slice bread, let alone find the time to do it? Were there bread purists who made sure that each slice was exactly 1.5 cm in width and spent their free time honing their skills so they could eyeball that spec without so much as a second glance? I feel a certain nostalgia for simpler times, but exactly how difficult was it back then for sliced bread to be the innovation that set the tone for innovations? Maybe people were just boring then.
But the phrase is still used today, although not without irony. I don’t know anyone under the age of seventy that has uttered that phrase with a genuine tone. If I were going to use the phrase to describe something that has come along in my lifetime to revolutionize the way life is lived, that invention would most definitely be the Shazam app on my phone. Some people would immediately reply to such a claim that I should perhaps give credit to the phone itself that facilitates the application. There would be no Shazam app without my iPhone. I disagree with that simply because my phone as a single entity has not made my life easier, it has in fact made me a paranoid, codependent, insecure shell of a person. Before I had a phone with me at all times, I was not afraid to go into the ocean before emptying the contents of my pockets. Both times I went to Hawaii, I ran full force into the Pacific without so much as a thought for my poor wallet. Now, I have to make sure my phone is in a safe place where it won’t get damaged or stolen, and then I can take a dip but only for a minute before I’ll have to get out and Google something I was arguing with my brother about.
But I digress. Shazam has made discovering music so effortless. Back when all I had was a boom box, the local radio station, and a negative revenue stream, finding new artists and songs that I liked was a crap shoot. I could either record the song I liked off the radio which required impeccable timing or ask for the cassette for Christmas and hope that it was actually worth listening to. That was also a game of chance because many artists didn’t know how to write more than one good song. Now all I have to do when I hear a good song is reach in my pocket and . . . wait . . . where is my phone?! Oh, thank goodness. It’s actually in the cup holder. Sitting in a pool of soda condensation! Dear Lord, what have I done! My phone is ruined! Now I’ll never know who sang that song and my life will not be complete without that knowledge. Nevermind the fact that I have now lost all contact with the outside world and if anyone needs to contact me they are just going to . . . to . . . have to wait . . .
So to sum it all up, I think Shazam is neat, but I hate the price that I have to pay for it. I now have fantasies of being some kind of professional adult that deactivates his phone on the weekends and leaves it at his studio office. That sounds amazing. And also, while I’m at my office working during the day, the phone is not to cross the threshold of said office. It will be in the hands of my assistant who will screen the calls that it receives and inform me of any urgencies that need my attention. Otherwise I am going to be the old man that no one can get a hold of. I will sit in silence and write. I will have uninterrupted peace and quiet, and that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the greatest thing to me since sliced bread.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sliced Bread.”