When Alek Krautmann brought in bagels for his office colleagues, he casually fired off a tweet that would shake the foundation of society. “Today I introduced my co-workers to the St Louis secret of ordering bagels bread sliced. It was a hit!” he tweeted, with a picture of bagels sliced through the top in many thin pieces, rather than bifurcated through the middle, as bagels are customarily cut.

We have a lot of questions.

1. Why would someone do this to an innocent bagel?

Presumably, so you can make more slices for colleagues to share. Technically, there’s more square footage for cream cheese spreading in this scenario, too (except spreading cream cheese on the spongy middle of a bagel seems structurally unsound). It makes it easy for people to have a small piece of bagel without awkwardly ripping it apart, or manhandling every bagel in the box. You can also dip your bagel chips in a tub of cream cheese this way, though they will definitely go stale faster. These are explanations, but they are not excuses.

2. What kind of monster are you if you do this to a bagel?

Well, you’re worse than the person who put sprinkles on a baked potato, but not as bad as the sadist who put marshmallow Peeps on a pizza. Nevertheless, this has been deemed an official Food Crime by the Internet.

3. Do people in St. Louis really ruin their bagels this way?

Some, we assume, are good people. There are many citizens of St. Louis who claim to have never seen a bagel sliced this way before. Still, Slicegate has become a source of national shame for the Show-Me State. (It’s short for “Show me how to slice a bagel, because no one here knows how.”)

4. What is the optimal way to slice a bagel?

You already know the answer: straight through the middle, parallel to the flat sides of the bagel and perpendicular to the hole. You could also cut it in a complicated Mobius strip pattern that apparently gives you more surface area for cream cheese, but it’s a little messy. And, quite frankly, people injure themselves cutting bagels all the time anyway, so why do something complicated?

5. Is this a hate crime?

No, but that hasn’t stopped a few people from making jokes about calling the Anti-Defamation League over this anti-Semitic treatment of bagels.

6. How does Panera Bread feel about this whole debacle?

Delighted! All publicity is good publicity, even when your employees are embarrassing your brand with bagel crimes!

7. Is that guy getting some free bagels out of this?

Yes.

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