Saturday, October 27, 2007

Take That, Yankees

A while back I saw a meme asking for five foods you're embarrassed you like to eat. I thought and thought and could only come up with three foods that sorta, kinda met that definition. But I can come up with all kinds of foods that other people seem to think I should be embarrassed to eat, and that list is made possible just by looking to people who live in other regions of the US, not by selecting for vegans or health nuts or local foodists or what-have-yous. Well, here's a small bit of vindication for one of those food items:

"A new study by a group of Huntsville researchers found that boiled peanuts
bring out up to four times more chemicals that help protect against disease than
raw, dry or oil-roasted nuts."

Auntie Suzanne was once informed--by some Yankee, no doubt--on irc that it is "wrong" to eat peanuts boiled. The only acceptable method for peanut preparation, according to this person who'd never heard of such a thing before I mentioned it to him, was roasting. I can't tell you how glad we Southerners are to have our ignorant, backward ways corrected by the more enlightened folk who dwell in the the only parts of the country that understand tolerance and the value of diversity. How glad I am to have been saved from the degrading and terrible experience of driving along on a cool autumn day, spotting a farmer beside the road with a large pot and a hand-lettered sign that says "BOILED PEANUTS", stopping and buying a bag (or two) of hot, wet peanuts, and continuing along our way, cracking open the shells with my fingers or teeth, tilting back the shell to drink the warm, salty liquid within, and eating the tender, delicious flesh of each peanut contained within the shell, savoring the taste, then doing it again and yet again, marvelling how each peanut is slightly different in shape, size, or number of nuts and how the shell is so soft, thick, and plushy when the peanut was immature and the nuts must be teased out with a pointed tongue or exploring finger , yet hard, thin, and easily cracked open to reveal its treasure when it is fully mature, and how such a dirty-looking, unpromising outside can hold such sweet delights inside and...Well, just thank goodness I've been saved from all that. That half-eaten bag of boiled peanuts currently sitting in my refrigerator? That's Uncle Pookie's. He's the one who refuses to learn.

A Birthday That Isn't

Today would have been Sylvia Plath's seventy-fifth birthday. Well, it could have been and might have been, if she hadn' know.

Little Sylvia Plath
Was filled with wrath.
When she needed a muse
She looked to Ted Hughes.

For some reason--presumably my cold--I got a case of clerihews on the brain yesterday evening. Tricky stuff to shake off. So here's some more:

Miss Sylvia Plath
Loved a hot bath.
She got wet behind the ears
Listening to the music of the spheres.

A Scorpio, Plath,
Chose the poetic path,
Forgetting babies and rhymes
Only mix some o' th' times.

Sylvia Plath
Had no head for math,
And she wrote many verses
On her aversion to nurses.

Sylvia Plath
Got lost on the path;
When her soul for poems she decided to dredge,
She ended up stopped at "Edge".

Given the limited number of rhymes for Plath, I figured I was perilously close to having her outgrabe a mome rath and managed to stop there. (Well, with the Plath ones anyway--ask me about the Ranma 1/2 ones, I dare ya--and actually I'm leaving out one on grounds it violated good taste.) Feel free to add your Plath clerihews and hate mail to the comments box.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Life in the Undergrowth

David Attenborough
Was very thorough.
In his documentary on bugs
He included erotica for slugs.

Seriously. It's very cool and, fortunately, readily available from Netflix and Amazon. I have new respect for aunts, new sympathy for the tragedy that is the queen bee's life, new appreciation for termite engineering, and new something or other for something or other. (Sorry for petering out there, but my mind is fuzzy--and various parts of my face drippy--with a cold.)