He hated that place. He hated that it existed. He hated that he had to ride the bus past it twice a day. He hated how the faces of his fellow passengers brightened as the warm yeasty smell filtered in. He hated all of it.
It galled him to no end that they would dare to call that thin, flavorless flim-flam proper bread. Or dare to label those over processed, nigh-immortal snack cakes as pastries! Real pastries were things like palmiers and petit fours, that flaked away into sweet nothingness in your mouth. Breads were meant to have flavor and texture all their own, thick and sharp like a pumpernickel or airy and delicate like a perfect sourdough.
He wanted to burn the whole factory down, revel in all those miserable loaves burning away to ash. But the prospect of an extended jail term held no appeal for him. He’d been to jail before, after an argument over the perfect ratio of dry ingredients in cake batter took a sudden and rather violent turn at a church bake sale.
The factory was something he would just have to accept.
Accept that there was just no accounting for taste.
Unlike the narrator in this story, the Wonder Bread factory in downtown Memphis is one of my favorite places in the city. Driving by it at any time of the day fills my nose with the most wonderful smells. And the best part is you can tell what they’re baking by the smell. You’re in for a treat if you catch them in the middle of baking something sweet.