Friday, September 19, 2008

The Best Part of A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Most of the Showdowns so far have been between things that were similar -- Andy Richter shows, or William Shatner and Christopher Walken. But there's no reason for that, other than that's the way it worked out. After all, most showdowns in real life -- and there are tons of showdowns in real life, don't kid yourself, bucko -- are between not similar people, but between polar opposites. Polar opposites like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. Or ... um...I can't think of any other showdowns.

While I'm on the subject, though, let me just make another point in my ongoing quest to prove that Star Wars, the movie the kids call "A New Hope" even though it's not "A New Hope," it's just "Star Wars," to prove that Star Wars was never intended to be a series of movies, but instead was going to be a standalone movie. Here's the point I will make:

In Star Wars, Darth Vader is referred to as "Lord Darth Vader." Which makes it seem like Darth is his first name. What makes it seem even more like "Darth" is his first name is that when he's fighting Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan calls him Darth.

But in the later movies, the prequels, we have "Darth Maul" and "Darth Sidious" and a variety of other "Darths" and are apparently to believe that "Darth" is a title.

Which makes no sense. If "Darth" is a title, like "Officer" or "General" or "Aquarium Manager," then why did Obi-Wan refer to "Darth" only by his title? Would Obi-Wan have said "If you strike me down, Aquarium Manager, I shall only become more powerful?" No. Plus, why would "Darth" Vader have two titles, "Lord" and "Darth?"

Here's what's more likely: George Lucas made up the name "Darth Vader" for the character, and then years and years later when he made the prequels, he decided that "Darth" was a title, and he decided that because he never went back and re-watched the first movie to realize that "Darth" was a name.

We're just all lucky that the Jedis in the prequels were not all called "Obi-Wans."

So anyway, I was eating peanut butter cups the other day, peanut butter cups we bought to celebrate the fact that Mr F and Mr Bunches are two and can eat peanuts - -nowadays, doctors don't let you feed your kids nuts until they're two, because peanut allergies have become a big deal; I don't understand how not eating peanuts can prevent a peanut allergy. I also don't understand why suddenly they're doing that when nobody ever worried about it before.

Seriously: we are way more protective of kids these days than ever, and as a result kids seem to be getting more fragile. When I was a kid, I have on good authority, my parents didn't even belt us into the car; when we were really little, Mom would put us in laundry baskets to ride in the car. Also, we had lawn darts with real points. And we turned out just fine -- all my fingers and hands and eyeballs and not allergic to peanuts.

Now, though, kids don't eat peanuts until they're two, and they have padded playgrounds with wood chips instead of grass or cement or sand, and all the slides are made with sticky materials to prevent any actual sliding, and yet kids might as well be made of blown glass; if we keep on making kids safer, I imagine they'll all have to live in plastic bubbles like John Travolta had to in a movie I watched as a kid, a movie that still haunts me. I can remember the dramatic scene when he walked out of the bubble and lived life on his own for the first time. Having watched it as a kid, I don't recall if he dropped dead immediately or a few minutes later; I just recall that scene where he walked out of the bubble, and I recall wishing that I had to live in a bubble so that girls with Dorothy Hamill haircuts would like me and I could dramatically walk out, too.

I forget where I'm going with all of this. It's kind of late. Let me get on with it.

I was eating the peanut butter cups that we bought for the boys to celebrate being able to feed them peanuts, candy we bought as a treat only to learn that they don't like peanut butter at all, so I was eating what was left over as I walked around the kitchen and family room picking up slightly-chewed bits of peanut butter cup, and I began mulling which part was better, the peanut butter or the chocolate.

Some people, I'm sure, instinctively said neither -- they work together to create something great and are equally responsible for the success of that candy. Those people are communists and dreamers. No pair ever worked together equally to achieve success; one half always carries the burden while the other sort of slouches along and shares in the success. Look at the great teams of history: Adam and Eve, King Arthur and Merlin, smoke and fire (yes, they're a team -- where there's smoke, there's fire), Rain Man and Tom Cruise, and blue moon ice cream mixed with caramel corn, to name five -- all duos, and all with one half of the duo obviously carrying the other half. (Although Blue Moon/Caramel Corn comes pretty close to the egalitarian ideal).

So don't get all hyped up on they share equally. One is leading the other, and I'm positive that peanut butter is the leader.

Chocolate can't be the leader; chocolate can't be carrying the load and be The Best Part because, let's face it, chocolate simply isn't a leader. Chocolate as a food is the best friend to the hot girl; it's the thing you pay attention to because you have to if you want to have a shot at the thing you really want. Chocolate on its own can barely hold one's interest; who really eats just plain chocolate? Nobody, that's who-- it's always trying to jazz itself up by being milk chocolate or white chocolate or dark chocolate or baking chocolate or chocolate chips -- all of those things being chocolate trying desperately to get your attention and hold it, but it won't work because while you'll trade a little small talk with chocolate while it's hotter friend is in the bathroom, once the hotter friend comes back, chocolate is left to sit on the other side of the table and make random comments about the song playing on the jukebox.

Peanut butter, on the other hand --- now there's a leader. Sticks to the roof of your mouth, can be dipped into with a finger, and is always, always consistent. Try to change peanut butter -- make it organic, or chunky, or mix it with jelly like Goober -- but it's still peanut butter. It still looks and tastes and acts like peanut butter. It may be peanut butter with peanut bits in it, or peanut butter standing a little too close to jelly, but it's still obviously peanut butter.

Peanut butter knows it's awesome and doesn't have to try to get your attention. Peanut butter does what it wants and lets you come to it -- and then makes things difficult for you by making it hard to talk while you eat it and gluing the bread in your sandwich to your gums just as your boss buzzes you to ask you a question. But that's the way peanut butter rolls, and that's why Peanut Butter is The Best Part of A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

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