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February 27, 2006

"Hi. My name is Jim. Ooooh! Are those nuts?"

Kids under a certain age aren't supposed to be given peanuts. (We don't joke about this because we know someone whose daughter is one of those kids who may die if she ingests one.) As a result there's no idea if Jack's inherited my peanut urges.

I probably could blame the peanut stand in Huntington, West Virginia. It opened in 1924 and is still operating to this day. (What began as Planters Peanut store #109 is now just "The Peanut Shoppe" today.) When my grandparents would go for their big night on the town on Saturday night, dinner at either Jim's or Bailey's, we then used to walk by the peanut store on the way to Nick's newstand and I would stare as a little kid in amazement at the world it offered. Fresh nuts piled high. Equipment well maintained from the first days of the store being open, gleaming glass and waves of heat from the oven. Christmas brought me trinkets from the store in my stocking and eventually I was programmed to occasionally crave peanuts.

Tonight I was standing over a Tupperware bowl filled with salted peanuts in their shells, husking them and nibbling on the nuts like some sort of demented squirrel. After a handful I dropped the hulls in the trash and walked away. It was then how desperate I realized I was and how I needed to just walk away slowly and not look back.


Posted by Jim at February 27, 2006 11:41 PM


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