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February 22, 2009

Pea-nuts… to You: The Great Georgia Salmonella Scandal

We don’t want to portray the state of Georgia as some sort of cartoon, where the population lounges about like a bunch of Blanche Devereauxs, sipping sweet tea while slipping into Southernisms, discussing weight-loss procedures, peaches, and peanuts.

However…about that last item.

The news here—and now, everywhere—has been fairly dominated by the salmonella outbreak caused by the Peanut Corporation of America processing plant down in Blakely, GA. Every day, more peanutty products are trotted out as victims of the recall. State inspectors are being faulted, while they ask for more inspectors to be hired. The governor says he doesn’t want Georgia known for this—too late. Workers are on tv talking about the plant’s Crunchy Roach Peanut Butter. Local TV reporters take the opportunity to ask the “tough questions” of the plant owners. They love tough questions here. No gentle questions for these scofflaws!

This news disturbs and saddens the office. If there’s one thing that’s always on the Monthly Triskaidekaphobia Satellite Kitchen Provision and Acquisition Invoices, it’s coffee. And cookies. And Princess Leia prints done in an Nagelesque style. But if there’s one other thing, it’s peanut butter.

Luckily, our collective intestines have been spared. Our PB preferences lean towards the natural taste of Once Again—which has (so far) been salmonella-free.

This takes us back to the PB/salmonella mashup a few years hence, and this all-time great picture from the Snooze. Look at the way this man holds the peanut butter, caught, while displaying it, between the weakness brought about by the tainted peanut butter, and a menacing glare:

“Here is the peanut butter that sickened me,” he says, “do you think you will be able to escape this jar, innocuous though it seems, yellow friendly and red—yet laden with active, festering, salmonella contamination, encased and protected by the fatty peanut buttery paste within, a paste which will guide the virus to your intestines, protecting it from your body’s defenses, disguised, a beauty dressed as an old woman as the disinterested acidic sentries look on, bored, only to steal away into your stomach. Peter Pan—Do not be fooled by this urchin, seeming cherub, face of eternal youth maneuvering you into complacency as you dip your knife into the salmonella spread, blithely unaware of the sickness—yea, even death!—which may await you behind your friend’s familiar elfin face! Peter Pandemic! Tremble all ye who look upon this jar—NO!—no… do not look away, for to ignore the enemy is to only become his next victim!”

This man fought salmonella and won, displaying his tainted jar as a trophy of victory

“Scoff if you may, as I did, but look upon me and see what it has wrought. I’m only 35!”

Thanks, James P. McCoy!

posted at 04:09 PM | find it forever

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