Column: A toast to direct and indirect objects


Commentary by Curtis Honeycutt

Let’s face it: fancy toast is the new cupcake. My friend Melvin is thinking about opening an artisan toast bar in SoNoHoBro, the hippest area of town that you haven’t even heard of yet. If he wants to make some dough in this endeavor, Melvin can’t just loaf around all day. And, if you ask me, this seems like as good a time as any to better understand direct and indirect objects.

As an aspiring new business owner, Melvin needs some money. So you might say something like, “Melvin secured a loan from the bank.” In this sentence, “Melvin” is the subject. The subject of a sentence is the noun that is doing or being something. A direct object is a noun that receives the action performed by the subject. What did Melvin secure? A loan. “Loan” is the direct object.

Suppose Melvin’s toast bar, The Toast Office, is now celebrating its grand opening, and he’s hired his brother Kelvin to be the senior jam spreader. Although Mel thought it would be fitting to attempt the ceremonial ribbon cutting with a butter knife, it didn’t work out very well. As a result, Kelvin carefully handed the giant scissors to Melvin. In this sentence, “Kelvin” is the subject. “Scissors” is the direct object because it is the noun that receives Kelvin’s action. “Melvin” is the indirect object. An indirect object (Melvin) is the recipient of the direct object (scissors).

A few weeks later, The Toast Office is the white-hot epicenter of SoNoHoBro’s cultural scene. Mel and Kel have modified their toasters to make the springs superpowered, and the customers are encouraged to catch the toast on their plates (think Benihana, but with hot bread). The toaster propels the artisanal toast to the customer. In this sentence, the “toaster” (subject) propels the artisanal “toast” (direct object) to the “customer” (indirect object). I think we’re getting the hang of it now.

In order to start a successful toast bar business, it’s important to remember four things: It’s state law to put a hair net over your man bun, you’ve got to have a gluten-free option, always have an abundant stock of fresh avocados and know your direct and indirect objects. Do these things and your trendy startup will be the toast of the town.