A whole bunch of peanut butter-related topics…

February 19, 2007, 5:41 PM

First of all, I saw this cartoon on the editorial page of today’s edition of The News Virginian. Considering that I’ve spent much of the last five days dealing with peanut butter returns at work, I found this cartoon quite hilarious:

Peter Pan cartoon
Image: Cagle Cartoons

I found it hilarious first of all because of the obvious – it showed Peter Pan over the toilet getting sick. But then also considering how much Peter Pan peanut butter I’ve seen come back, I found it a way to laugh about my work situation. After all, if you work at the return counter, and the news media is telling everyone to return their peanut butter for a refund because it’s been recalled, you’re going to see a lot of peanut butter. Customers would ask me, “How many people have returned peanut butter?” I would just point to the cart full of returned peanut butter and say, “And that’s just today’s take! I’ve got four more carts just like that in the back room.”

And then whenever I needed to get an approval for peanut butter, when the CSM would show up, I’d just use one of Dad’s favorite expressions: “Three guesses, first two don’t count.”

I also realized how much that this recall of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter has affected me when I had a dream about it. First of all, some background information for you, though. The number that identifies the “bad” peanut butter is stamped on the lid of the jars. For instance:

Lot number on Peter Pan lid
Photo: Wikipedia, with modifications by me.

The circled “2111” is what the public was told to look for on jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter to tell it was recalled.

The other bit of background information for this dream is about what I did after work yesterday. I went down the aisle that has the peanut butter to see if we actually had any of the other brands. We had no salable peanut butter in the store as of 7 PM last night, save for those ones where they put the peanut butter and the jelly in the same jar, and that all-natural stuff where the oil sits at the top of it all.

So in this dream, the shelves were just teeming with Peter Pan peanut butter. I was kind of pleased, because it meant that Peter Pan had finally returned to the shelf, and (hopefully) my days of dealing with the return of so much unsalable peanut butter were over. So in my dream, I looked at the lid, where, since Thursday, I’d been accustomed to looking for the “2111” marking. In the dream, the number was not “2111”, but rather “2168”, which I presume would indicate a different lot number.

Still, I never thought I’d have a peanut butter-related dream. I’ve had dreams about work before, but never related to the content of the stuff that’s getting returned. It’s usually just about work itself. Go figure.

And lastly, I still can’t over some people’s way of finding a way to attach every problem in the world to the race or ethnic group of their choice. I was talking with someone recently, and the whole peanut butter recall came up. The person managed to explain it as being all the fault of hispanics, making some broad generalization about attitudes of workers and actions taken related to that.

Now when I encounter such bigotry in conversation, be it related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or whatever, I just kind of let them spin themselves out. Get it out of their system and go on, even though they have already lost quite a few “cool points” from me.

So I was talking to someone else later on, and the previous conversation came up. I was like, “Where do these people get off making such sweeping generalizations about ethnic groups?” I would bet that if he actually looked at these individuals, he would find out that his stereotypes are highly inaccurate. I think that our hispanic customers at work are awesome. I’ve found that many of them are nothing but polite to me, and they let me do my job of taking care of them without disruption. And I appreciate that. Compare that to so-called “red blooded Americans”, who aren’t always the nicest, and who are always trying to “help” me, even though they’re really getting in my way and slowing down the process, despite their insistence that they’re in a hurry and that they have to be somewhere really soon. Either way, they’re not helping, and they’re slowing down the process for everyone. Still, that kind of bigotry just gets me.

So there you go.

Web site: Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Song: Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Quote: "See?"