I made the mistake of buying baguettes—those long, skinny loaves of French bread—again a few days ago, against my better judgment. Sometimes it's hard to find any other type of bread. Of course, by the time I got home, they had turned to rock. Stale baguettes (that is to say, baguettes that are more than 3 hours old) are among the hardest objects known to man, after diamond and corundum crystals. The bullet-proof crust cannot be broken by normal mammalian teeth, and the interior tastes like cardboard. Any attempt to break the stale baguette into pieces produces a shower of bread crumbs that scatters in every direction. Freezing does not arrest the hardening process.
I had to look around for a store that had some sort of bread that would keep for longer than a few hours and was soft enough to actually eat. This afternoon I found a bakery that had something that looked acceptable, so I bought some of that and threw the remaining concrete baguette out.
I have come up with a useful idea, though: baguettes could conceivably be put to work as a dual-use technology, and could be shipped to Marines in Iraq. They could be frozen, ready to bake, and all the Marines would have to do is put them into an oven. Once they were baked, they could be removed, slathered with butter and Brie cheese, and eaten to provide a delicious lunch. However, any baguettes that were still uneaten after two hours could be mounted into special launchers on Apache helicopters and used as armor-penetrating missiles to break into reinforced concrete bunkers, which any three-hour-old baguette should be able to manage with ease. Thus, first it's lunch … then it undergoes a Hideous Transformation into a deadly weapon!
That would make the disposal of uneaten baguettes less of a problem. Currently, they are thrown into the trash and they end up in landfills, where they eventually become embedded in the Earth's crust and block the movement of tectonic plates. So it would be good for the environment, too.
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