Uncategorized 23 Feb 2004 07:00 pm

Diary of a Peanut Maniac

Help!!! I’m addicted to Planter’s lightly salted Peanuts!!!

It started out innocently enough. My ex-roommate once brought a can of Planter’s mixed nuts home. The can’s label features an anthropomorphic peanut shell, resplendent in top-hat, monocle and walking cane. It also innocuously says in big letters,”less than 50% peanuts”. Any desi worth his salt will know that ‘junk food’ in desi households in the US means ‘potato chips and coke’. Given a chance of a respite from the constant barrage of ruffled and classic Lay’s chips, I decided to taste some of these nuts. The ‘mixed’ here refers to a variety of obscure crunchies, such as almonds, pecans and god-knows-what. Contrary to its declaration of the less-than-50% reservation policy for peanuts, each grope into the can brought forth 75-80% peanuts and one almond, if I was lucky. Not heeding this ominous sign, I continued, stuffing my maw with salty and yummylicious peanuts that alluringly rustled out of their brown outer garments when I held them in my fingers and applied a gentle tweaking action. The can was soon empty, and I was left to avoid glancing at my roommate who had got it for himself.

Flash forward a few days: I walk into my RA office and what do I see? A can of lightly salted Planter’s peanuts, sitting on my co-worker’s table. Aha! Mr.Planter had decided to forgo the ‘mixed’ euphemism for his nefarious scheme of world-peanut-domination and concentrate solely on peanuts! Since my co-worker was not around anyway, I decided to taste these ‘lightly-salted’ peanuts and see if they were any better than the ones that came with ‘mixed’ nuts. These aforementioned salted peanuts were completely devoid of any kind of brown covering and stood totally denuded for my munching pleasure. I took one tentatively and tried it. These ones were definitely superior to the previous variety! I made a mental note to buy some for myself.

On the next trip to the supermarket, I entered the ‘Nuts and Cocaine’ aisle, trying to locate the logo of a dancing peanut from among the anthropomorphic honeybees and suicidal pecans who seemed happy to die and become your breakfast. I finally found a whole bottle of lightly salted peanuts, with the smug and knowing Mr.Planter depicted on the front. I placed this bottle in my office drawer and started to use it often.

My peanut habit grew exponentially and I began to open the drawer once every 15 minutes to get a fresh fix of peanuts. The daily calorific diet on the bottle suggests 39 peanuts per day and I tried to restrict myself to this amount initially. I soon gave up on this ridiculous restriction and I’m currently on 39 p/hr. My throat is sore from all the salt and I feel constantly thirsty. I lick my lips in anticipation every 30 minutes and unscrew the lid to see how much is left. Like a crack-hound on the scent of a higher buzz, I’m seriously considering adding more salt to the bottle. The bottle’s interior, and I’m not kidding, smells like cowdung. The bottle itself is rapidly emptying and I look forward to my next trip to the supermarket.

I recall the innocent days when I used to eat peanuts for 25 paise from the push-cart guy who roasted them in sand. I think about the pori that I loved; The pattaani that I hated. I decided to consult the great information superclusterfuck that is the Internet to see if anyone suffered from the same addiction. My first Google image search returned this horrifying image. So Kraft corporation knew about the habit-forming properties of peanuts all the time!!! The caption clearly reads,“No one ever stopped after eating only one Planter’s Peanut. After all, how could they!! “. Philip Morris has been sued for a gazillion dollars and made to display a statutory warning on its cigarette packets, while Kraft happily circulates its salted peanuts to beer-happy bar patrons and naive net-surfers.

Uh-oh, I’m getting the munchies… I feel so cold… Time for my peanut-fix.
Time for my 12-step program.

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