The Sinister Origins of Wonder Bread by William Hrdina

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SUMMARY: I had this idea when I opened up a month old loaf of Wonder Bread and it was still soft. NOW AVAILABLE: “Where the Fnords Linger- A Short Story Collection” By William Hrdina- collects 27 of my most popular stories. To order go to Amazon or www.williamhr

The Sinister Origins of Wonder Bread
William Hrdina


My journey into the dark underbelly of bread products started innocently. I walked into my local supermarket and bought three loaves of bread: two loaves of multigrain and one loaf of Wonder Bread. I believe I paid in cash. Big deal right? Might as well start a story off, "I was breathing." But that's what happened- and the only thing I can do is tell you what happened- not that I expect you to believe me.
I bought the bread and then ten years passed. Yup. Ten years. I only bring it up because of what happened to me yesterday. I was in the process of moving to a new apartment, and I found an old dusty bag, which had somehow fallen behind a panel in the pantry.
I opened the bag, and found the three ancient loaves of bread- the same ones I'd purchased a decade earlier. I vaguely remembered looking all over for the bread and not ever being able to find it. Inside, I found a receipt dated February 3, 1998. I found the bag on December 10th, 2007- just 3 months shy of a decade.
I'm going on about the bread because of the state I found it in. The multigrain bread was how I expected to find it- little more than a dusty pile of ancient looking mold wrapped in plastic.
But the Wonder Bread was different. It was in pristine condition- the bread still spongy. When I wiped away some of the dust, the colors on the package were as bright as new. I would expect as much from a Twinkie- they were designed during the Cold War- as part of a secret government food program. The idea was to create a food capable of being disseminated innocently throughout America- something sweet, which would remain on store shelves, safe to eat, even in the event of a nuclear war.
I wondered if Wonder Bread had similar origins. So I did a google search on the terms "Wonder Bread" and "preservatives."
Mostly I got the standard information- nothing that could explain the bread sitting on my counter. But then, on the 46th page of the search results, I found something relevant. Really, really weird, but relevant. It was a website called, "The Sinister Origins of Wonder Bread." There was a counter at the bottom of the page- it proudly announced a grand total of 4 people had visited the site before me. The top of the page featured a loaf of Wonder Bread morphing into the head of an alien- and then back again.
Beneath this graphic was a list of dates and bullet points- I read them with an increasing feeling of unease. Almost all of the bullet points ended with a link that said, "Click here for more information."
The first bullet point said Wonder Bread was invented in 1921 and was manufactured by the Taggart Bakery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Wonder Bread introduced the concept of "sliced bread" to the American public in the thirties. The link at the end of the bullet point led you to the official Wonder Bread homepage.
The next bullet point was the date July 7th 1947- the day of the alleged UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico. The link was to a .pdf of a newspaper article.

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