This remarkable instance of a haphazard pattern appearing to represent a recognizable person or scene was discovered by Hubert R Portnoise of East Camden, New Jersey, who describes the incident in this transcript of an interview with Bob Abercrombie from Camden Places & Faces, WRBX-TV, Channel 89, November 7, 2004:
WRBX-TV: "So, how did you come to discover this rare... uh, find, Mr Portnoise?
MR PORTNOISE: "Can you hear me okay through this?"
WRBX-TV: "Yes, the audio is coming through loud and clear according to our engineer."
MR PORTNOISE: "Well, okay then.... it's kind of tiny for a microphone, though.... Anyway, this happened on May 23rd this year. That was a Sunday, and, like I do every Sunday morning, I fetch the paper from the porch and I bring it to the kitchen table while I wait for the wife— that's Mrs Portnoise— to get around to making breakfast. So I'm sitting there reading about how the Red Sox are going to get creamed again this year as usual— that's pretty funny when you think about it, I mean after the Series and all— when the old lady puts the scrambled eggs and bacon on top of the part I was reading like she always does, and of course she forgets the toast. Thirty-four years we been married, she still forgets the toast! You married?"
WRBX-TV: "I'm not married, no."
MR PORTNOISE: "Smart move. You got a girlfriend, then?"
WRBX-TV: "Ah, not a girlfriend, no."
MR PORTNOISE: "So you don't know how you just don’t serve a man his scrambled eggs and bacon without you give him his toast, right? I mean, now I got to wait for the toast to be made, and by that time the bacon and eggs are cold. So I'm pissed off, like usual— can I say pissed on TV?"
WRBX-TV: "Uh... I guess you just have!" (nervous laughter)
MR PORTNOISE: "Okay, so I'm pissed off as usual because I have to eat the toast after the bacon and eggs or they go cold, right? Then I see she used the old Sunbeam toaster again, instead of that fancy-shmancy Cuisinart my brother-in-law sent us last Xmas. He's no good, but that toaster makes terrific toast. The Sunbeam ain't for shi— I mean, the Sunbeam, it leaves the bottom and the sides of the bread raw, like you can see in the picture here.
"So then I'm really pissed, and I pick up the butter, and guess what? It's hard as a rock! How you supposed to spread butter on a piece of toast if it's frozen solid? She knows how I hate hard butter! I mean, if I put the frozen butter pat on the toast it just lays there, cooling off the toast. By the time the butter starts melting, the toast is stone cold! So I'm sitting there, pissed as hell, wondering if I should nuke the butter so's it can melt, except I don't want to give her the satisfaction, so I'm just staring at it, and that's when I see what looks like a picture burnt into the toast! Now, I always get a laugh out of these kooks who are all the time finding faces of God and saints and stuff on food, but this is the real article! I mean, it reminded me of that picture by Leonardo DiCaprio, you know, the Last something or whatever."
WRBX-TV: "Uh, that's da Vinci and the Last Supper."
MR PORTNOISE: "You got it. And then I take it to the window and pull back those ugly curtains she insists on hanging there even though it makes the kitchen so dark I have to sometimes leave the refrigerator door open just to find my way around... I take it to the window and sure enough, it looks just like the one that dago painter did!"
MR PORTNOISE: "Then I'm thinking to myself— hey, there are people who pay big time for this kind of thing. Some casino down in Atlantic City or Vegas dropped a couple of grand on that dame who had the cheese sandwich that looked like Jean Harlow."
WRBX-TV: "I believe the claim was that it looked like Mary, the Mother of God."
MR PORTNOISE: "Oh yeah? To me it was a dead ringer for Jean Harlow. That's funny. Anyway, right off the bat it hits me that if this thing is worth some bucks, how am I going to keep it away from old nosy-britches— that's Mrs Portnoise, to you. So the first thing I do, I pop it in a baggie and I put it way in the back of the freezer, next to the remains of that meat loaf she made in 1986 that nobody is ever going to touch again."
WRBX-TV: "1986?" (weakly)
MR PORTNOISE: "You should see the shi— the stuff she's got in there! I tell her if it was bad the first time around, it ain't gonna be any better the second time— no way! But does she toss it? No! Some of the stuff in there, the writing on the label has worn off— it could be anything! But does she toss it? No!
WRBX-TV: "I'm sorry to interrupt, MR PORTNOISE, but we're running out of time on this segment of Camden Places & Faces. We certainly appreciate your— "
MR PORTNOISE: "You don't want to hear how her and that shyster lawyer screwed me out of the money I was supposed to get from the casino?"
WRBX-TV: "Not today, no. Perhaps another segment of Camden Places & Faces. We'll be in touch. Thank you, Hubert R Portnoise of East Camden, New Jersey, for your fascinating account of what we in the media game have come to call the Host on the Toast. And, speaking of hosts, this is yours, Bob Abercrombie, for Camden Places & Faces, here on WRBX-TV, Greater Camden's Neighborhood Channel. Now back to Belinda with Neighborhood News.
MR PORTNOISE: "I mean, you talk about your rip-offs! She..."
-- END --
Donation to the Gallery of the Unidentifiable made possible by conditions in the household effects settlement of Portnoise vs Portnoise #05-8831, Camden Civil Court, Camden, New Jersey. Transcript courtesy of WRBX-TV.
"Last Supper on Toast"
approx. 4" x 6½" (10.1 x 16.5 cm)
~ Whole wheat