The other morning I stopped at a local mom-and-pop coffee stand to grab some breakfast. I was about to settle for a toasted bagel when a charmingly hand-lettered sign near the register caught my eye. "Homemade Breakfast Sandwich," it read. "A toasted English muffin with crispy bacon, fresh eggs and medium cheddar cheese." Although I wouldn't dream of ordering such a thing from the typical fast-food joint, the handwritten sign and homey locale made it sound pretty enticing. Visions of bacon and eggs sizzling on the griddle wafted into my head. Imagine my reaction when, perhaps 30 seconds after I'd ordered it, the proprietor handed me a scalding hot yet soggy something-or-other straight from the microwave. The "fresh eggs" were some sort of prefabricated, pale-yellow patty, the bacon a pre-fried strip of salt, and the "medium cheddar" a glossy orange square of Velveeta. So much for a "homemade" sandwich. Now, it happens that ...
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