Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thanks For Saving Me From Myself

Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

--Warren Zevon

Part 1: Thank God for the Lawyers

You read that right. If not for our litigious, nothing-is-my-fault society and the lawyers that feed off it, we wouldn't have those helpful little labels on our hair dryers that inform us that it's a bad idea to use them in the shower. We wouldn't have entire sections of lawnmower manuals to tell us that maybe we shouldn't put our hands or feet under them while they're running, or that we shouldn't pick them up and try to use them as hedge trimmers. We would have no way of knowing that our paper cups of coffee, that we can't even hold in our hands without oven mitts, are hot. We would eat packets of silica gel. We would consume raw or undercooked fish and meats in restaurants with reckless abandon. All those sharp sticks in the woods wouldn't have notices on them saying, "Do not poke in eye".

Society would crumble. No one would be able to argue the merits of Darwinism any more ("Intelligent design". Really? Just go down to the DMV and look around for a couple of hours).

Part 2: Goobers

I was raised in a state that is famous for peaches, piney woods, and peanuts. Alas, I have learned that at least two other states (South Carolina and California) surpass my home state in peach production, and if your dad made you pick up as many pine cones and rake as much pine straw as mine did, well, you'd understand my position on pine trees. But we made good with peanuts. No state produces more. Peanuts helped launch one of our most mediocre governors into the White House, where he quickly became one of our most ineffective presidents.

I like peanuts. I grew up eating them frequently, washing them down with bottles of gloriously cold Coca Cola (another home hero). There are stores dedicated to them. At least until recently, you could get them roasted, in the shell, for about a dollar a pound. In the summertime, you'll see roadside stands selling them roasted or boiled (while still green... I find them disgusting, but somebody must like them because they've always been there). However I've moved on. I haven't lived there for some 24 years now, and I've finally had to admit something:

Ya just can't beat a Virginia peanut. They're big, crunchy, and just taste better than the ones from my youth. We buy these whenever we can find them, usually at our local Total Wine store. Heck, we're always there anyway, may as well pick up some peanuts. We can feel better about ourselves if we pick up a little food to go with our alcohol.

Since both my family and my wife's family have histories of various health issues, we go out of our way to try to eat right. As such we've become inveterate label readers. So, while I'm munching down my 402nd serving of peanuts the other night (Who comes up with these serving sizes? Serving size: 2 peanuts, Servings per container: about 120,000), I was reading the label just to get the nutrition info and to see if there was any 2-diethyl-chloramide-nicotine in them, and I saw this:

See what I'm saying about Virginia peanuts? That's right. These aren't just any peanuts. These are Super Extra Large Teenage Mutant Ninja Peanuts. Who could resist them? Not me, WhooeeITellYaBuddy.

Part 3: The Denouement

If you've read this far, you may be wondering, "What does the first part of this post have to do with the second part?" Or you may be wondering, "What is that crud under my thumbnail?" Either way, this is the part where our narrator ties it all together. The big "aha" moment. Under the ingredients on the label of the above can, is this legend:

Well, needless to say I was as shocked as you are right now. Fortunately, I'm not one of those unfortunate souls with a peanut allergy, or I might have a serious reaction to eating these peanuts that contain peanuts and are manufactured on shared equipment in a facility that processes peanuts.

Thanks for warning me.

Thank God for the lawyers.


Dixie said...

Excellent. You do have to love the cadence of "peanuts, tree nuts," though. I feel a Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka line coming on. It would prompt Veruca Salt's father to talk about his job some more.

Were you aware that my Jif Peanut Butter also contains peanuts? I'll have to check everything in my house now. I'm worried.

Gilahi said...

I think it may be time for the federal government to step in and do something about these insidious peanut producers. They've insinuated themselves into every part of our lives without us even realizing it.

lacochran said...

2-diethyl-chloramide-nicotine! *snort*

Gilahi said...

That product is marketed on TV as "Addictofix". One of the side-effects is death, but none of the people who experienced it said it was severe enough for them to stop taking it.

honeykbee said...

You can oftentimes find those Virginia peanuts (the kind manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts) at your local Plow and Hearth establishment.

My other half has the aforementioned allergy (read: get near peanut dust = die). Otherwise I sure would love to try those teenage mutant ninja nuts.

Hey and don't forget mattress tags that say "do not remove"!

Gilahi said...

Hi honeykbee! I'm not sure I HAVE a local Plow & Hearth establishment... let's see... Huh, there appears to be one in Fairfax. However you may have missed the point. You see, I'm going to Total WINE. Total WINE. WINE. The peanuts are just a rationalization. Why would I need a rationalization to go to Plow & Hearth?

Lucy said...

No words come to mind about this. Just so funny. Crazy stupid age of insane people we live in. I found you off of Alice's Adventures Underground. I'm keepin' ya. Very funny writing.

Gilahi said...

lucy - Thanks! I just linked over from your comment and read your blog as well. Good stuff. My wife has the same issue with animals in movies (and books, and songs, and Egyptian hieroglyphics, and real life) as you do. She just refuses to participate.

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