It is more virtuous to be clean than to be dirty, but it is more virtuous to get dirty while doing good than to, in avoidance of dirt, avoid doing good.

Eating yogurt is moral. Eating gruel, even more so. Broth is virtuous. Broccoli-and-cheddar soup is profane. Broccoli-and-cheddar soup in a bread bowl is violently human.

Dark chocolate is more moral than milk chocolate but having no chocolate is better than having any chocolate. A small square of bitter chocolate is nothing to feel bad about, and might even lead to valuable introspection. Child labor that results in the production of dark chocolate is reproachable. Child labor that results in the production of milk chocolate is unforgivable.

Drinking lukewarm water is more moral than drinking cold water. Drinking ice water is an indulgence. Sparkling water is an indulgence, but its sharpness on the tongue can remind one of one’s own physicality, which might lead to valuable introspection. Drinking broth is virtuous. Boiling bones to make broth is thrift. Thrift is virtuous. The smell of boiling bones is profane. Sucking and scraping and gnawing the very last bit of fat off a bone is indecent. Licentious, even.

Bread bowls are violently human. Bread bowls contain. To make a bread bowl is to decontextualize and recontextualize. Bread bowls are literary. Bread bowls are linguistic. There is some minimum-wage worker at Panera right now decapitating a bread loaf and disemboweling a bread loaf and repurposing? discarding? the crumby viscera and proclaiming the bread loaf a bread bowl and filling the bread bowl with broccoli cheddar soup. This gives me hope that, for a while, at least, words will continue to have meaning and communication will remain possible.

Note to self: Next time you eat chicken wings, put the remnants of bone and skin into the remnants of a Panera bread bowl. Call it “Reliquary II.” Call it a philatory. Call it art. Call it activism. Display it somewhere. Make a statement about refuse. Make a statement about capitalism. Make a statement about religiosity. Make a statement about bread bowls. Get an agent: this could be big.

Note to self 2: Just Googled “bread bowl reliquary.” This does not seem to be something other people have done. Corner the market now, while you can. This could be big.

Note to self 3: Act on this now, while Panera Charged Lemonade is still coursing through the cultural bloodstream. Corner the market now, while you still can. This could be big. You could be big. This could be big.

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