Edward Smiley, an amateur inventor based in the UK, has made scientific history and turned the world of physics upside down by inventing the world's first cold fusion sandwich.
"It's been a dream of mine for some time," says Eddy. "For too long sandwiches have been a highly dangerous and unpredictable method of creating lunch, contaminating our atmosphere and constantly threatening us with the prospect of catastrophic meltdown. Now, at last, we have the option of sandwiches that are not only clean and energy efficient, but can also provide up to ten times the typical yield of traditional fission sandwiches."
But what exactly does this mean for the man in the street? Well, at present most sandwiches are made by bombarding an ordinary loaf with high-energy particles and literally 'splitting' it into its component slices. These form the building blocks of the modern sandwich. The process is simple enough, but is unpredictable and difficult to control. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Just last month a bakery in Dudley was levelled in a bread related incident, and investigators were subsequently able to trace the disaster back to a hairline crack in a family size farmhouse loaf. It was only the smallest of flaws, and yet when it split under the enormous pressures of baking it was enough to set off a chain reaction in a shelf full of croissants.
Thankfully, incidents like this are rare. Even so, at best the fission process is messy and inevitably leads to a fallout of crumbs, which are difficult to dispose of and often end up polluting cupboards and bread bins for decades. According to Smiley, his cold fusion process results in no fallout whatsoever.
"I must be honest and admit that my claims have met with a certain amount of scepticism from some of my colleagues," he says. "But my experiments have proved, time and time again, that the process works. I think the real problem is that some people simply don't want to believe. This is, perhaps, understandable. After all, the image of the sandwich has been in decline since the late seventies. What was once hailed as a revolutionary new breakthrough in mealtime engineering is now perceived as dangerous and wasteful. Of late it has become fashionable to believe that the future of lunch technology lies with the sausage roll, the Scotch egg or the pie. There have even been experiments with reconstituted meat snacks, but personally I have always believed that the sandwich has a far greater potential."
There seems little reason to doubt Mr Smiley's sincerity. He has been fascinated by sandwiches since he was a boy, and as a teenager he spent many lonely hours locked away in his bedroom, experimenting with different fillings. During his time at university he built an ingenious coal-fired bap. It had no real commercial potential, but it did pave the way for later developments and when he graduated he went on to design a revolutionary new gas turbine-driven bagel for Exxon. It is also worth noting that Edward Smiley was one of the principal members of the team who worked on the award winning clockwork pitta, an invention which has made an enormous contribution to the day-to-day running of curry restaurants throughout the third world.
However, his first love has always been sandwiches, and although there is still plenty of work to be done he remains firm in the belief that there is a great future in store for his invention.
"It hasn't been easy," he confesses. "And I won't deny that there is still a long way to go. We need to properly test new textures of bread, both at high velocity and under extremes of pressure. We also need to conduct a proper study into the relative adhesive properties of butter and margarine. Then, of course, there's the filling. At the moment I am only able to use peanut butter in my sandwiches - and the crunchy variety, at that. Obviously, this is incredibly frustrating. We need to take a long hard look at cheese spread, seriously investigate crab paste and consider the strengths and weaknesses of a selection of cold meats. Then there is lettuce - oh, don't talk to me about lettuce! I need time, I need money, I need better facilities. I also need a new spreading knife, because the one I've got at the moment is too flimsy and floppy and crap.
"It's going to be a mammoth task," he continues cautiously. "And it's not just a question of science, because at the same time we also have to deal with people's preconceived ideas and prejudices about their lunch. But it will be worth the effort, just to be able to say, hopefully in the not too distant future, that we have at last developed a sandwich, or even a roll, that can in some way, be it great or small, contribute to making this world a better place. If I can do that, then I'll know that my time hasn't been completely wasted."
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