My Nuts Make Me Better Than You

Last week, we were in the unfortunate position of being in a Target, which I try to avoid, as they discontinued playing music and always only have one checker, despite there being 1200 patrons in the store and 15 lanes. In a stroke of luck, we found some Planters cashews on sale, and curiously, the wholes were the same price as the halves and pieces. Now, listen, I’m not royalty. I don’t toss my bills into the air all devil may care. I’ve spent my life eating halves and pieces like the lower to middle income person I am.


But here was an opportunity–finally–for me to feel superior to everyone, to put a nut in my mouth the way that God intended, whole, not broken, like most of this country. And in a time of unrest and people unemployed and so bored that they look for every opportunity to be offended where no offense was intended, I decided YES this is my moment. My moment to step up that ladder one caste level and taste what I’ve been missing.

To be clear, this was not a short fat can, like short fat poor people. This was a long and lean tin like greyhounds and Windsors and ladies who lunch, despite eating disorders. This was a can of abundance and hope and opportunity. This can was my people, where I truly belonged. No longer was I tossed out “pieces” like a commoner, a prole, a dog begging his master for scraps. Nay! This was the entire brown crescent! Not crushed by the foot of the man, here to oppress me. But untainted, unbroken, uncompromised. And while the image says “lightly salted,” ye who know me know I am nothing if not salty.

I poured out a handful of the beautiful cashews. Now I am important! This is my mink coat! This is my rapper grill, demanding that others affirm my value! Look at me, I have gold chains! My messy past is erased, and now I matter! But guess what? They taste the same. They simply require more labor from you, as they need to be chewed more. And what is the lower class but not the laboring class? Chew, prole, chew. Fatten up, for there is much labor to be done! So many dichotomies. And it occurred to me that I didn’t need whole nuts to feed my self-esteem. The fact was I was eating cashews, and that still made me better than any peon eating peanuts, no? And “peon” literally means Spanish-American day laborer. So there you go. Can we choose to be offended by that? Now, I’ll go one you one better!

Uh-oh! Don’t say that one out loud.

What A Girl Wants, What A Girl Needs

Nov 1940

Ooh, la la, ladies! Somebody just upped the charm bracelet game! Look how beautifully it lays (or is it lies?) against the skin. What’s not a lie is how it will subliminally encourage you to eat protein each time it scrapes against the keyboard as you type.

It compliments any outfit you have in shades of peanut shell or Baptist red brick. It’s nutty, all right.

During this time of Easter and resurrection, it’s important to remember that Mr. Peanut did NOT in fact die for good, but was (as the Super Bowl commercial revealed) reborn by the tears of the Kool-Aid Man (oh, yeah!) in a much less spiritual or legitimate manner.

Before The Peanuts Tried To Kill Us

In 1955, peanuts were amazing little salted bundles of protein that everyone could eat (as far as we knew). For a nickel, you could eat a candy bar of pressed peanuts. You could eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on enriched white bread. You could fry wholesome meat in peanut oil. You could have peanuts out the wazoo. 

But now schools and churches and even offices are mostly nut-free zones. We warn parents not to put nutty items in Halloween or Easter candy. And some of us just avoid them as the lowly cousin of grander nuts. But you might be missing out.

Hazelnuts Roasting On An Open Fire


Why does hazelnut creamer taste sooooo good in my coffee, but hazelnuts taste worse than rancid calf fries?

At that moment when I pull back the foil freshness barrier on my new can of mixed nuts, a world of opportunity explodes.  Like Guy Fieri says (excessively), “Everyone is in the pool.”  And it’s all good; we’re all friends here.  Except you, hazelnuts.  Nobody invited you.  We don’t want you living in our neighborhood, much less swimming in our pool.  Go home.  Go back to your fibrous husk and don’t come back.

Hazelnuts are otherwise known as filberts (which seems better suited as a name for a male born in the 1930s), but did you know they are also called cobnuts?  Verily, I say this unto you.  Can you feel your mouth salivating?

It is rather joyous to say “Kentish Cobnuts” aloud, however.  Go ahead.  Kentish Cobnuts.  Kentish Cobnuts.  Why isn’t there a band called The Cobnuts?  It makes much more sense than The Lovin’ Spoonful.  Moving on…

It is a universal truth that the filbert is the base of the nut totem pole, the bottom in the hierarchy, the least desirable.  It’s the Mike Nesmith of The Monkees, the Whoopi Goldberg of The View.  And why is it that I can pony up extra money to weed the commoner’s peanuts out of the can entirely, but those dang hazelnuts are still clear and present?


What gives?  This is the land of the free!  Do the rest of you really enjoy hazelnuts?  Are you busy spreading Nutella all over your nine grain toast each morning?  You know cashews are superior.  And pecans.  And almonds.  And Brazil nuts.  Heck, even peanuts are superior to those wretched hazelnuts.  I would pay good money for someone to invent something akin to a metal detector, but much smaller and possessing the power to pull filberts to the top of the can, so I can grab them and fling them out into the back yard for my aging dogs to digest.  I’m pretty sure any animal that eats lizard tails as an appetizer preceding a meal of its own poop wouldn’t mind a filbert.  Then again–it’s a FILBERT.  Ick.

The only thing worse is biting into a nut of higher caliber, and then realizing it’s rotten.  Planters be damned!!  And you never get the head’s up on that; it’s always a crapshoot.  By the time you notice, you’ve already chewed it to a paste, and you can’t really spit it out, so you just swallow it down, hoping to quickly toss a fresh nut down your gullet to cover the taste of the foul one.

I admit I do eat them, but only because I’m all kinds of cheap and can’t fathom paying for something that may get wasted.  But sometimes I leave several in the can before tossing it out.  It makes a nice rattling sound as it hits the side of the garbage bin.