That is, if your definition of "bagel" is "food with a hole in it."

By Tim Nelson
September 17, 2019
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In recent years, no food-based philosophical question has prompted more heated discussion than “is a hot dog a sandwich?” It’s stymied the greatest of scholars, and prompted more arguments about the nature of sandwich-hood than anyone could have expected. Now, thanks to a perplexing new invention from Philadelphia Cream Cheese, the question instead becomes “can a hot dog bun be a bagel?”

That’s right: “Bagel That” is a simple (and very real) contraption that promises to transform any solid, non-brittle breakfast food into a bagel by punching a circular hole into it, because a bagel is not a bagel without a hole. Through the act of this hole-punching, any food is (apparently) thereby rendered a bagel, which in turn is a vessel for Philadelphia Cream Cheese in turn. As the logic proof contained within the brief commercial’s jingle tries to tell us, “if it looks like a bagel, then it must be a bagel.”

The video then goes on to demonstrate a variety of foods that, by Philadelphia’s logic, “must be a bagel.” Toast, which is like a bagel in that it’s bread you can spread things on, seems like it could be a bagel. But from there, it’s a steep, swift descent into madness. A waffle with a hole is not a bagel. An omelette with a hole is a sign that the guy running the omelette bar at the breakfast buffet should seek other employment. That one could (let alone should) punch a hole in a pizza so that it may become a vessel for cream cheese is the strongest argument against an ordered, rational universe that I’ve yet to encounter.

This“Bagel That” machine creates additional taxonomic issues as one untangles the logic proofs that seem to underpin its ability to bestow the classification “bagel” on various objects. Bagels have holes, yes. But doughnuts also have holes. Not everything that can be “bagelled” contains other inherent attributes (the presence of wheat flour, New York’s “soft water,” etc. ) that would point one towards the classification “bagel” while eliminating the possibility of classification as a doughnut. Therefore, the argument that a breakfast food automatically become a bagel solely by the presence of a newly-punched hole rests on a set of faulty premises. But hey, why not puncha holee in your food?

 

If you’re capable of carrying on amid— nay, running toward— the chaos of our disordered breakfast universe, “Bagel That” is a real thing that you can buy on Amazon for $9.99. The only thing this whole exercise proves is that Jeff Bezos will sell anything as long as he gets a cut.

 

So go ahead: “Bagel That.”

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