Mr Plotnik buttered a piece of toast during breakfast, then accidentally dropped it on the floor. He bent down to pick it up, and saw to his astonishment that it had landed buttered side up, which he knew from experience was against all the laws of nature.

Buttered bread or toast always fell buttered side down.

He was so puzzled by what happened that he went to see Rabbi Goldberg to whom he explained what had happened. “How can you explain such an astonishing and unnatural event?” he asked.

Rabbi Goldberg pondered a while, then told Mr Plotnik he would have to consult various authorities before he could give a definite reply. So would Mr Plotnik please come back in a week’s time.

The following week Mr Plotnik returned. “Well, Rabbi,” he said, “have you found the explanation of that extraordinary matter of the buttered toast?”

“Well,” Rabbi Goldberg replied, “I have consulted many books and talked with several colleagues. It seems that there’s only one possible explanation. You must have buttered the toast on the wrong side.”

~ David Daiches

One of Life’s Perplexities