The Bagels of the Damned

🐆 🐆 🐆 (goodbye, July). A cartoon ad for New Yorker Bagels, offering “22 flavors of fresh hand-rolled bagels” made daily in New York City:

(#1) Going straight to bagel hell on the Circle Line Tour of the Damned

22 flavors? you ask, suspiciously, wondering what could lie beyond plain, sesame, poppyseed, onion, salt, and maybe garlic, made with white high-gluten bread flour. Well, there are other flours: whole wheat, pumpernickel, quinoa eek multigrain. And bagels with other stuff in them or on them: blueberry, apple cinnamon, cinnamon raisin, Kalamata olive. Bageloid and bagel-adjacent food items that depart from the bagel pier, with Charon at the helm, to veer into the murky waters of doughnuts, sweet breads, cakes, quiches, and pizza. Bound for that mournful bourne,  the scorched and reeking landscape of the Bagels of the Damned.

On the voyage, the passengers shriek as they are torn from their familiar bagel world and swept into an appalling vortex:

(#2) Charon Carrying Souls Across the River Styx (1861) by the Ukrainian-born Russian painter Alexander Litovchenko

They comprehend the true horror of their plight when they sail past the last beacon light of New Yorker bagels, the Rainbow Bagel:

(#3) [ad copy:] Our bakers spent months to perfect an all-new New Yorker Rainbow Bagel. These beautiful, hand-rolled bagels have dried cranberries, raisins and cherries baked right in — giving delightful pops of flavor and texture, in addition to a huge pop of gorgeous colors! No two are exactly alike!

The doom that awaits them on the other shore is the Dirty Double Dozen, the appalling pops of flavor and texture in the 12 piquant flavors of the Bagels of the Damned:

muscone, bile, cigar, matjes herring, manure, patchouli, urinal, lutefisk, vomit, limburger, gasoline, cadaverine

and their two extreme textures: stiff leather and Wonder Bread (together making 24 bagel choices, even more than New Yorker Bagels’ 22). There’s nothing like gasoline leather bagels or urinal Wonder Bread bagels for perfect moments in toroidal dining hell.

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