Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finally, Some Evidence to Help Us Know which One is Best.

1.  I have enough to eat.
2.  Our air conditioner works (thanks to our awesome downstairs neighbor who knew what was wrong).
3.  We had enough money for a pad lock, to keep the darn neighbor kids from removing the key that makes our air conditioner work.

Based on a true story*:
Many years ago, many more now than it seems, America was swept up by invention.  Everyone was looking for new things to manufacture, or for better ways to manufacture what they had.  Yes, it was an exciting time, full of competition and partnership, feast and famine.

Among the residents was a family who lived in New York.  They were a family of twelve, packed into a house of two rooms, but they had what they needed and were happy.  Among their children were two boys, Jeff and Skip.  These two were only about a year apart, but were as different as night and day.  Skip was an entrepreneur from the moment he had services to sell.  He was very industrious and never seemed to stop working.  Jeff, on the other hand, was a loafer.  Wherever there was work to be done, you could find Jeff as far from it as he could be.  Jeff could not always get away from work, what with his family being so large and needing to get so much done.

As part of their chores, Skip and Jeff were asked to make the family peanut butter.  Now, back then people didn't just run to the store to buy their peanut butter like we do today, not the poor ones anyway, so it was the job of Jeff and Skip to make the peanut butter.  They were to mix the ingredients, and then, by hand, smash every single peanut until it was a creamy goop that could be spread easily on to toast or apples, or whatever else goes well with peanut butter.

You would think that Skip would be a little put off to have such a lazy partner, but you'd be wrong.  Skip loved peanut butter, and prided himself on coming up with one of the best recipes for it anyone had ever seen, in the neighborhood at least, and focused very hard on getting the right consistency of goop that would be the very best for eating.  The fact that Jeff only helped a little didn't even phase him.

One day, a Tuesday as fate would have it, Jeff and Skip were making peanut butter (well, to be accurate, Skip was making peanut butter and Jeff was taking a nap), when Skip suddenly remembered he had to go and paint a fence across town.  He left the peanut butter to Jeff and went running.  Not wanting to do more than he absolutely had to, Jeff sneaked out of the room and went to play with his friends.  Both boys came home at just about the same time to see their mother taking a big spoonful of their half done peanut butter.  Skip cried out in protest, but it was too late, that big wad of goopy stickiness had already past the lips, teeth, and gums.

"Mom," Skip cried, "don't eat it.  It's not done."
"Oh, Skip, now it's just fine."
Jeff, hoping to never have to get the peanut butter creamy again chimed in, "What Skip means to say is that this is our new way of making peanut butter.  Do you like it?"
"That's not what I mean to say at all.  That peanut butter's only half done."
It should be said that Jeff was the more attractive of the boys, and against all unwritten mother laws, their mother had chosen a favorite, and even worse, made it known, "Oh Skip, why, I think you ought to listen to your brother more often.  This is the best peanut butter I've ever tasted."

And so the rivalry was set.  Jeff started making his own batch of peanut butter, or it should be said that he made Skip's peanut butter and was too lazy to mash all the peanuts, and Skip made his own batch, and the two of them started selling the excess to people in their neighborhood.  Jeff, because he made his peanut butter so sloppily, was able to pull off an order faster than any other peanut butter maker around, so people started calling him Jif, because he made his peanut butter in a 'jif.'  Skip could be seen running to make deliveries as fast as his little legs would carry him, so people started calling him Skippy.  The two grew up to own their own peanut butter franchises.  We know them now as Skippy and JIF.

Jif made crunchy peanut butter while Skippy made creamy.  After the incident with their mother, Jeff coined the well-known phrase "Choosy moms choose JIF."  To which, Skip tried to coin, "Moms who choose one child over another because of their swagger and good looks choose JIF."  Needless to say, Skip's didn't catch on real well, though neither are all together true. I'm sure there are plenty of mothers who love all their children equally, and who let those children eat whatever they want, who also choose JIF, but whatever.

The years went on and both Skip and Jeff passed away, selling their companies and leaving a great deal of money to their families.  In their absence, savvy businessmen with no knowledge of the feud, realized that half of people like crunchy, and half like creamy, so they started making both.  I'm sure Skip is spinning in his grave.  I doubt Jeff is, he was a lazy ass.

Moral of the story:  I am a creamy peanut butter lover, and people who like crunchy peanut butter often ask us creamy loving folk why we love creamy, to which we usually reply that we just think it tastes better, to which they have a witty comeback that goes something like, "Whatever it does.  Crunchy tastes SO much better."  Which, how can you dispute that logic.  But, if we were to dig a little deeper, I think we would find the true reason that we like creamy: We don't like shoddy workmanship, and we know that crunchy is really just a half-assed attempt at peanut butter.

Now, some of you will disagree.  But, let's look at the evidence.  When someone does a sorry job, don't they usually try to cover it up in some way, and then make smart people look dumb when the half done job is pointed out?  Look at what has happened to crunchy peanut butter.  The companies want to do even less work, so they leave even more peanuts in, and to cover their laziness and keep us intelligent creamy lovers quiet, they name it EXTREME peanut butter, as if anyone who eats anything else is a wuss.  Once again, smart people get bullied into silence.

Of course, I'm not saying that you have to like creamy peanut butter.  By all means, eat crunchy, or chunky, or whatever it is you like to call it, just please, for all of us, stay out of the quality assurance industry, because you obviously don't know how to do it.  Have a nice day.

*This story really has nothing to do with real events.  We could say that any likeness to real events are coincidental, but that would imply that the writer actually did research, and tried to not make them be.  What really needs to be said is that any likeness to real events are cause by sloth on the part of the writer, who didn't feel like doing research.  Really, I'm sure this note was only needed by crunchy peanut butter lovers...
You're welcome.


  1. Gotcha. "No" to crunchy peanut butter & shoddy workmanship but "yes" to not researching the story.


  2. Vinny, Exactly. It's supposed to show the crunchy lovers how shoddy workmanship can be masked behind nice packaging... it's also to mask my subliminal message: "Yes" to Skippy, "No" to Jif.

  3. If I like both am I a bad person? lol

  4. I'm all about the Kraft peanut butter myself (I guess like the bears on the packaging?)... and I ALWAYS choose the smooth :)

  5. We like both at our house.:) Fun post!

  6. dont like peanut butter so I spent the time reading this wondering if your wife has had the baby yet and whether peanut butter was one of her cravings.

  7. SMOOOTH all the way. But not as good as Vegemite :)

  8. great story and now i know why there are two kinds but like OT am i a bad persong if i like both.

    Everyday Life

  9. Great post. I'll follow along.

    I want to see peanut hull butter emerge on the market as a 'new' alternative. That'd take way more energy to make than traditional creamy, and therefore taste better.

  10. Hey, buddy. How are things going?

  11. Getting worried Paul. Hope things are ok?

  12. Hey all, liking both is fine, and I'm sorry for causing so much concern. I'm fine, my wife is fine, and the baby is fine. I was just busy.