Raisin Fires
posted November 17, 1998

Q: Please tell me why my raisins that fall into the bottom of the toaster catch on fire.

Thank you very much.

– Pam (UpstatePam@xxxxx.com)

A: Pam, contrary to popular belief, raisins do not “fall” into the bottom of the toaster. The unpleasant truth of the matter is that they jump.

With crazed resolve, they willfully meet their fiery demise to dramatically demonstrate their outrage at the social injustices that take place on a daily basis within a slice of toast. You see, a slice of toast is actually an extremely complex socio-economic environment, complete with a hierarchical social system, political corruption, private monopolies, budget deficits, inflation, and unemployment. Bread has many diverse ingredients working with each other and against each other, forming coalitions and rivalries - a chaotic system that inevitably swings periodically to either end of the political spectrum. Indeed, a slice of toast is not unlike modern American society.

A number of recent events are responsible for particularly heating up (no pun intended) the current social climate of toast. In one well-publicized incident that was captured on videotape, an innocent raisin was driving through a mostly wheat neighborhood, when police stopped him and beat him senseless. (Granted, he was already a raisin so he didn’t look too different afterwards.) Outraged raisins throughout the entire slice rioted, leaving a charred hulk of a once-proud slice.

In an unrelated incident, violence broke out in a slice of Oat Nut bread. Some Quakers were minding their own business when the local skinhead Almonds began taunting them. The Quakers were steamed, and the Almonds eventually went nuts, beating the Quakers to a pulp. When the dust settled, all that remained was a rather tasty porridge.

So to make a long story short, raisins have always been the most politically active of the ingredients in a slice of toast. They feel they have exhausted all other options for bringing about social change in their particular slice of the world, so they illustrate their passion by throwing themselves to the fate that awaits them in the dark and crumby recesses at the bottom of the toaster.

Hmmm, on a second reading it looks like your question is actually why do they catch fire, not why do they fall. Well, I would guess that’s because toasters are very, very hot.

– Dr. Toast