Sunday, August 19, 2007

Peanut Butter in World Literature

It is a truth universally recognized that a young man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a peanut butter sandwich.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy because of the disagreement about what goes in and on a peanut butter sandwich.
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would entertain a peanut butter sandwich. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get at peanut butter as soon as I can.

You don't know about me without you have eaten peanut butter sandwiches before, but that ain't no matter.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of peanut butter, it was the age of no peanut butter, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of no chunky style.

Okay, so the point is that peanut butter rocks, but it isn't funny. People are too serious about it. Not even Karl Rove can make a wedge issue out of it. Doesn't matter if it sticks to the roof of your mouth. Doesn't matter if the oil rises to the top of the jar. Doesn't even matter if it isn't a complete protein--just mix in some sesame seeds and bingo, you have all the essential mean old acids.

It is splendid with banana, honey, cottage cheese, butter milk. I often use cranberry sauce instead of jam, particularly if I have on a clean shirt and am feeling like taking on more risk. Valencia peanuts grown in Deaf Smith County, Texas are nothing less than sublime. But it is not funny.

Paprika is funny. But not peanut butter.

I wish it were.


Anonymous said...

Recently I changed to soy butter, which is ok, but the problem is it is so grown-up and not peanut butter. Too responsible, and no soy butter ever met a slice of wonder bread.

lettuce said...

peanut butter on digestive biscuits is close to perfection.

Great post.

you might like this? :

lettuce said...

oh and i'm enjoying your pictures too.

Kelli Anne said...

Please remind me to send you my poem about peanut butter and suicide.

Lori Witzel said...


* wipes tears from eyes *

Sorry, that Moby Dick PB conflation just got me.

Oh my. I look forward to counterpointing you again sometime, if it helps produce stick-to-the-roof-of-one's-mouth gems like this.