The Gregford Gordon Corollary

Gregford Gordon

Gordon in Repose

Over the years scholars hotly debated the Cummings theory surrounding the paradox of the Everything Bagel. No significant headway was made until  the mid1980′s, when Gregford Gordon burst on the Everything Bagel scene. Until that point, Gordon had tread a difficult road professionally. He had been a silent partner in the initial funding of Apple Computers, Inc., but in late 1977, after less than a year of operations, he withdrew his investment over a dispute with Steve Jobs’ management style. In the years to come, this decision haunted him, and he struggled to regain his confidence as a businessman. After another handful of failed investment decisions, a defeated Gordon turned away from public life, becoming a recluse in uptown New York City.

He did not approach his withdrawal from society lightly; though he lived in one of the most bustling metropolitan centers in the world, Gordon refused to leave the comfort and perceived safety of his loft apartment. During these years, he subsisted primarily off of deli foods delivered to him by the local delicatessens. Not surprisingly, this diet consisted largely of bagels, and over time Gordon developed a love for them, bordering on obsession. He sought out every combination of specialty bagel that he could find, and his fanatical interest in this simple boiled and baked food item led him to Wilfred Cummings’ bagel-related quotation. And thus it was that the legacies of these two men became inextricably linked forever.

Over the course of Gordon’s remaining years in seclusion, he picked up where Cummings’ left off, pondering the deeper meaning of the Everything Bagel. While not much is known of those solitary years, what remains is Gordon’s theory, now know as the Gregford Gordon Corollary. Gordon recognized the bagel itself as a metaphor for everything – the living world around us – as did Cummings, but he also saw the paradox of the center of the bagel. How can something representative of Everything have a void at the center, and if it does, is not the absence of Everything equivalent to absolutely nothing? Based on this inherent loop of logic – Everything encapsulating Nothing, yet Nothing being at the core of Everything – Gordon postulated that the Everything Bagel should perhaps more aptly be named the Perilous Void Bagel in respect to its paradoxical nature. His lengthy written discourse with surrounding delicatessens championing this change in nomenclature remains the only historical documentation of Gordon’s theory.

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