Vol. 3, Issue 4, February 8, 2005
Think Difference (Engine).

My Surprising Luncheon Miracle

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

The mysteries of the Universe are surely beyond the ken of mortal Man; and even the Least among the world's denizens are graced with the occasional touch of the Miraculous, however minor. Many are unaware of this, but I do, with all due Modesty, number myself among the more Aware to such touches. This nonetheless did not Prepare me for Ephram's lunch this week-end past.

My nephew, from a combination of devotion to his Journalistic avocation and of his lack of anywhere else to Go, tends to spend most of his time in our News-room (on the Couch, to be specific), at times preparing his Meals in one of the Furnaces powering our Babbage difference-engines. While this can lead to Catastrophe, such as happened with the Christmas goose that knocked us off-line for a Week, in general his difference-engine cookery causes no real Alarm.

But on Saturday last he came Triumphantly into my office bearing aloft a smoldering Object with great Delight.

"Uncle Zeke," said he, "do you recall that grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary's face upon it? The one that sold for $28,000 on Ebay? Well look at this!" And he thrust the noisome snack beneath my nose; and I began to recoil, but froze suddenly as I saw it: lightly toasted into the top of a charred grilled-cheese sandwich, my own unmistakable visage.

It is improbable, nay impossible, but there it is: my neatly brushed beard, my spectacles cunningly rendered in crisped Sesame-seeds, even a small but virtuous Smile in the charred grains of Wheat. It is a portrait suitable to use upon our Masthead, and an utterly inexplicable event.

As Ephram danced out of the room to crow about his wind-fall to his associates, I stared at myself, my own toasted self, gazing from a sandwich-based vantage whence surely man was not meant to gaze. In the background, I could hear Ephram describing the Fame, the Fortune, the Publicity which this would bring our humble publication. Could we at last merit a mention upon the hallowed pages of the Times for this unexpected manifestation? Assuredly! - but what Comparisons would it invite? I blush to think that anyone might draw a Correlation between this artifact and one bearing the likeness of the Virgin Mary: most inappropriate! What meaning is there to be found in such a thing? - none that I can see beyond the inscrutable touch of the Divine; but surely others would seek deeper, as they always do when confronted with the inexplicable.

It is thus with some regret for Ephram, and for my palate, that I ate the revolting thing, washed down well with plenty of 18 year old Macallan. I would rather leave a modest legacy, based on my actual accomplishments, than earn historical renown for a sand-wich that I did not even prepare. I do not think, in doing so, that I am turning a blind eye to the significance of this miracle (for it can be called nothing Else): for not all miracles are eternal.

I think I shall buy Ephram a nice lunch at the Club, however. I owe him at least that.

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