Canadians Can Smell Burnt Toast

Here’s one of the big Heritage Moments. A woman is in her kitchen and smells burnt toast, then has a seizure. Good old doctor Penfield says “Hey Guys, if we can find the Burnt Toast Lobe of the brain, we’ll know what is causing the lady’s seizures” and then he pokes her brainparts until he accomplishes just that. The woman then gets to narrate the fact that Penfield was known as “the Greatest Canadian Alive”.

Wikipedia tells me that Penfield lived from January 26, 1891 to April 5, 1976, which means that his life has definitely overlapped with several of the other Heritage Moment stars. But Penfield trumps those chumps because he is the Greatest. Contest over. This man is tops and everyone else was a fool for trying. That said, I don’t know the intricacies of brain poking as much as I would like to, but if this commercial is accurate I have to say that Penfield is more than a little bit lucky that the burnt toast brain-part was right there on the surface of the brain. That’s pretty handy.

Almost everything the lady with the seizures says in this commercial is quotable gold. I’m confident I’ve even heard Americans reference the “burnt toast” bit, which I can only assume means they learned it from the Internet and not the commercial directly (I’m more partial to the “did you pour cold water on my hand” line personally). Having burned its message into my brain, I have to give it credit for doing its job. It is worth noting, however, that up until writing this very review I had assumed the doctor’s name was Walter Penfield. Now that I know better I can clearly hear that “Wilder” is the name said, but I just never got it before. I like old-timey given names that don’t happen anymore. I’m going with a Five out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake here.

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