some croutons, yesterday

As so often happen with AFB, reflection on the attributes of a fairly commonplace comestible reveals something far bigger: a paradox that strikes at the heart of some of our most deeply-held assumptions.

It’s like this. Your parents, supposing they were worthy of the name, no doubt told you that ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. Indeed, this pithy little ingot of wisdom is axiomatic to our worldview. It is why we abolished the death penalty; it is why Jack Ruby was found guilty of murder despite the fact that his victim was himself a murderer, and it is why the fact that your sister finished the last of the Weetos doesn’t entitle you to pinch her (you naughty child!). ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’ is surely a central thread in our ethical fabric.

Except that it is wrong. Indeed, it is one of the wrongest things AFB has ever had the pleasure of exposing the wrongness of. And the proof: croutons.

You see, croutons in and of themselves are unpleasant (except for certain brands of Kosher-for-Passover Jewish croutons, but let’s let that one pass, yeh?). An unadulterated crouton is profoundly wrong: it is bland and coarse and generally a bit crap. If someone were to offer AFB a naked crouton, it would say “no thanks.”

Soup isn’t great either, let’s be honest. Seriously, no one really likes soup; they tolerate it. As a starter it is vaguely acceptable, but only inasmuch as it is associated in the mind, via a Humean process of perception of constant conjunction, with a more substantive main course to come. And to those women (and some men) who eat soup for lunch, without anything else, you are kidding yourselves. Soup is not lunch. I’ll say it again: soup is not lunch.

So we have two wrongs: soup and croutons. But put the crouton in the soup and what do we have? Something pretty good actually. The crouton is no longer coarse; it is sort of chewy and quite pleasant. And it is no longer bland – it has appropriated the flavour of the soup. One might even go so far as to say that an ensoupened crouton is actually kinda, sorta, right.

So there we have it. Just as we previously refuted a hitherto unquestioningly accepted axiom of logic using just a cheesy wotsit, we have now refuted a cherished ethical axiom using nothing but a crouton and some Campbells.  Watch now as we solve the Israel-Palestine crisis using only some sugar snap peas.


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