The British Standards Institute has announced plans to replace Sliced Bread as the usual measure of how good a new invention is. From 2012 it will no longer be permissible to refer to some new development as being “the best thing since sliced bread”, with a consultation process due to take place over the coming year to determine a new standard of greatness. This will feed into a wider European directive to find a standard unit of greatness which will apply across the entire EU.
Sliced Bread was first introduced in 1928, and superceded the previous “best thing”, which was wrapped bread. In recent years sliced bread has lost some of its allure, with many people preferring crusty loaves or baguettes, and developments such as the laser, computers, and organ transplants making the simple slicing of bread look increasingly old fashioned. The BSI document “Guidelines for Greatness” states that suggestions should be something modern yet timeless with a wide popular appeal and positive connotations. Suggestions already rejected include Katie Price, Ikea, call centres and hedge fund managers.
The French have already made early submissions for the adoption of Pain Au Chocolate and “Being French” although these look unlikely to be adopted, the former because it discriminates against people with a Gluten intolerance, and the latter because it is a breach of advertising standards. A block of East European nations are considering going with “Red Meat”, while Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is strongly backing a submission of “Silvio Berlusconi”.
A Facebook group in the UK is already gaining support for “Two World wars and one World cup”, while Gordon Brown has weighed into the debate, stating “It’s me. I’m the best thing since sliced bread, and here is a spreadsheet to prove it. If anyone disagrees then they are wrong and are out to get me and I will beat them with a telephone until they agree.”