Monday, January 25, 2010

Keep It Simple, Stupid: An Adventure in Peanut Butter

When I was younger, definitely before I was 10, I read an article in one of those National Geographic kids magazines (it could've been "3-2-1 Contact," but I forget) concerning a child inventor and his invention that would solve a great problem in society: how to get the peanut butter that sticks to the bottom of the jar out of the jar.

Now, this is going to sound silly, but to a kid who was less than 10, it was profound. Basically, this brat inventor in question developed a peanut butter jar that had lids on both sides of the jar. This, obviously, allows the sandwich-maker to get to the hard-to-reach sandwich topping.

Excellent solution to a clear problem, right? I thought so. And I thought so for damn near the next 20 years. In fact, I'd often mosey through a grocery store wondering why in the Hell these jars weren't on the shelves.

Leave it to my mother to burst my balloon (she does that... all mothers receive pre-natal instruction in bursting balloons, I think).

A couple of years ago I was home visiting the parents when I saw my mother making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my niece and nephew (actually, she might've been making them for me, but I will never admit such a thing). I could tell by the sound of the knife that the peanut butter was almost gone, and the memory of that boy's invention jumped back into the forefront of my mind.

Hah, I thought, I bet mom wishes she had one of those jars right about now. Hehehe. 

Yes, you've interpreted the tone in that thought process correctly: secretly, I wanted to revel in the fact that my mother was about to suffer from the same bane that's blighted me for decades. A small one, sure, but a bane nonetheless (and never mind that she's, no doubt, been dealing with peanut butter jars a lot longer than I have... this is about me, dammit).

And then she did it. The unthinkable. She produced a solution right before my very eyes.

She used a spoon.

The moral of this tale is, well, simple. When we over-think things (cough, politicians, cough), we can wind up solving problems that didn't exist, or creating problems that won't get solved. Or something like that.

Nah... the moral of this tale is to buy peanut butter in pouches.

18 comments:

  1. hmmmm...I think MOM should go to Washington and see if SHE can help get that message across to all parties..great post --now go finish your pb&j-best c

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  2. You know what this means, so here you go!
    :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S. I stopped by to read your history stuff earlier and never finished. On my way.

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  3. Can I have mine in a tube, like toothpaste?

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  4. Certainly, you make a valid point, but there is still something in me that sides with the 10-year old Jeff in feeling that there was something profound at the bottom of the peanut bar jar.

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  5. Always ask for mother first, don't you remember her telling you that?

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  6. I think it may have been "National Geographic World" because I recall the same article. In other periodical news I just read an editorial in "Scientific American" in which the author addresses the same issue with Washington. He is all about some policy change but thinks that change in the way policy is made should be the first step. We'll see if that ever happens.

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  7. Cute piece - a rarity for you! Well done!

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  8. I found this entire post a little nutty. Got to go make myself a PB & Banana sandwich ;) (p.s. moms know everything, haven't you learned that already? i'm so afraid my son is going to find out I don't right now, but uh...i will someday! It's my birthright. And finding it out is uh...his. HA)

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  9. dont over think it...i may need to get that tattooed on my hand so i see it more oftn.

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  10. i wonder why it took them so long to figure out the cap should go on the bottom of the ketchup bottle...the genius answers are so damn simple!

    ...but you still have to shake the bottle or you get watery ketchup splurt.

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  11. profound, very profound, and now to go scrape the last of the peanut butter out for the dogs, they will appreciate the suggestion!

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  12. I don't like peanut butter but have the same problem with Vegemite. All mother's do indeed use the spoon but not always to clean out the peanut butter jar!

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  13. As a daily peanut butter eater, I feel your pain but I find using a rubber spatula works wonders. Also, read your History post and funny, I just had that conversation with my brother about FDR knowing about Pearl Harbor. He believes that FDR knew the US would be attacked but never thought of Pearl Harbor because if he did think that he wouldn't have had most of the navy there. I had just read a book that suggested that FDR knew and we were discussing it. BTW,just finished a great book by Jon Meacham, Winston and Franklin, about their friendship. Highly recommend it.

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  14. I'm having a peanut butter attack!

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  15. But in tubes, there's always that last part you can't squeeze out. Over-thinking, right? :)

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  16. Peanut Butter in pouches!? Do these exist?

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  17. Loved this as well as your history post...

    Now, I'm wondering about the history of pb itself...

    No wonder I wanted to be a ref librarian...Always looking stuff up...

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