Vol. 3, Issue 4, February 8, 2005
Random Numbers for All Purposes
US Press News

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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