Peanut Butter Ponderings

It’s the little things in life that keep the mind active. Big events leave a lasting vivid impression, but those little things, your mind hordes them away like secret chocolate treats only to bring them out every now and then to remind you to slow down.

I was making my lunch yesterday, my knife clattering around in an almost-empty peanut butter jar. Those last dregs of my favorite lunchtime spread proving to be surprisingly slippery for a substance that’ll stick to anything. My knuckles banging the rim of the jar, my knife just a little too short.

I thought to myself, ‘Self, why is it that marketing today is so far out of touch?’

I said, ‘hmmm good question.’

My peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich – don’t judge me – momentarily forgotten I fully committed to this internal argument.

‘Self, do you suppose the marketing and packaging people never partake of peanut butter’s velvety goodness?’

‘Why would big business hire people who never used the product to promote or package it? The fact that the peanut butter jar should be shorter and wider, I would imagine, would be obvious.’

‘Yes I agree, self, but peanut butter isn’t the only product suffering from poor marketing and packaging. Look at the long-standing hotdog to bun package ratio argument.’

At that point I started rummaging around in the cupboards and fridge for other examples.

Jam? Nope, they are apparently smart, one can scrape the last of the purple jelly from the jar without soiling their fingers. You’d think peanut butter and jam, partners in sandwiches from way back,  would keep each other in check. No, the hotdogs got to them too.

Mayonnaise? Ok, that’s a weird jump but I won’t judge you for putting mayonnaise on your peanut butter if you don’t judge my dill pickle tastes. But the mayonnaise now comes in a variety of packages to fill all sorts of spread enthusiasts, from the knuckle-lickers to the knife-cleaners and finally the utensil-free, squeeze bottle enthusiasts.

As I dug around for more examples I paused…

There is a point when you realize exactly what you are doing. How ridiculous the situation is. Arguing with myself about the depth of a peanut butter container?? Maybe I need to cut back on my coffee intake. I slowly backed out of the fridge

Thankful that there were no witnesses (disposing of bodies in the winter is problematic), I licked my knuckles and ate my sandwich in crunchy silence.

I realized something about my muse, it has a cruel sense of humour….


About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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6 Responses to Peanut Butter Ponderings

  1. Ruth Walker says:

    Ah Dale. Packaging. Yes, indeed, it is a remarkable disconnect on many levels and I’m delighted that you paused in your peanut butter and dill pickle (OMG – while not judging, I am wincing a bit) undertaking to think ‘outside of the box’ some more.

    While you’re at it, give some consideration to the discrepancy between the teeny weeny tube of this or that, and the massive, three-times sealed, plastic-wrapped, cardboard-backed packaging said items come with? Surely it can’t be to lull us into thinking we are getting more than we are paying for?

    In the meantime, buy peanut butter in bulk stores and you can get those wide and fully accessible plastic tubs from which to scoop, knife, finger to your heart’s content.

    • Dale Long says:

      Ruth, don’t knock PB and pickles until you’ve tried it.

      And don’t get me started on the whole recycling farce our government is trying to cram down our throats. They have the power to regulate packaging…

      I’m going to buy stocks in the Twist-tie market. 😉

  2. Lisa says:

    Au contraire, my dill pickle and peanut butter loving friend. The hot dog people and the bun people are in a conspiracy. Twelve hot dogs in a package and eight buns in a package mean you have to buy TWO packages of hot dogs and THREE packages of buns in order to come out even. Pretty sneaky.

    • Dale Long says:

      Sneaky… that must be why the jam jars are (mostly) smaller than the peanut butter jars… or is it pickle jars have less pickles than peanut butter… or….? Dammit, now I’m confused. 😉
      I want a hotdog now, but I don’t have any buns left.

  3. Dave Jones says:

    Well now – I had to put down my hot dog to comment. (I put 1.5 weiners in each bun and my dogs/buns work out perfect…)

    The peanut butter problem has been around fron the very first day that Jimmy Carter dropped a bowl of peanuts into his butter churn. Jimmy was amazed at the tasty product that resulted and packed it into mason jars and distributed them to his neighbours. It was a bug hit and the rest is history but the neighbours all had the similar experience of mining the bottom of the jar for those tasty last morsels.

    There was one shy neighbour who came up with a device that worked admirably in cleaning out the jars. His name was Al Tulaps. Jimmy told him he should market his invention and he did. Millions are sold today. Originally he called it the Al Tulaps Peanut Butter Extractor but after many more uses were found it was judged that a better name should be found. Jimmy suggested Al name it after himself but, as mentioned, he was shy so he merely spelled his mane backward and the rest, my friend, is history!

    I use Al’s invention regularly when I make my peanut butter and mayo sandwiches!

    I’m gonna finish my hot dog now…

    • Dale Long says:

      Everyone is a smartass… Was Al’s last name Lutaps maybe? 😉

      Besides, the damage good ol’ Al’s ‘spatula’ does to fresh bread, negates it’s advantages at scooping peanut butter.

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