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Peanut Butter Kisses

Peanut Butter Kisses

Some years ago I acquired an addiction to peanut butter kisses. This requires a bit of explanation. Some of my readers, not you of course, might suppose that a peanut butter kiss is a bit of foreplay involving peanut butter and French kissing. It is not. If we are going to do that sort of thing my vote is for chocolate kisses instead.

No, peanut butter kisses are a khaki coloured taffy like substance with a dollop of peanut butter in the center. They are every bit as good as that description sounds. There are only sold during the Halloween season. I am not sure why. The theory may be that you can sell anything in Halloween season provided that it comes in Halloween colours. As a bit of support for this theory every piece is either wrapped in orange paper or in black paper.

Some time ago, not long before the end of the last millennium, I discovered these confections. The first time (There is always a first time – the first cigarette, the first bottle of beer, the first kiss with that woman you should never have gotten involved with. There is much to be said about first times, but I shall leave it to others to say it.) I tried them I didn’t know that they were a sometimes thing. After all, if they can sell tomatoes all year round, why not candy. So some weeks after my initial purchase of these things I thought to myself, “Self, those bland black and orange thingies were rather tasty. Let us go out and acquire another bag or two of them.” Alas, they were no longer on sale.

The year after that I purchased several bags when they came back in season again. (These are bags of peanut kisses, not to be confused with bags of recreational pharmaceuticals.) These lasted me well into the Thanksgiving Season. For several years this was my regular practice. (These were the years when my waistline went from 38 inches to 42 inches. I’m certain there was no connection.)

Then I went on the great diet. Forty pounds of what had been Richard vanished along with six inches of waist line. My methods were simple; there were good foods and bad foods. Any kind of candy was bad, bad, bad. Eventually, however, I moved into maintenance mode in which I allowed myself the occasional taste of the forbidden fruit (that should be the forbidden sweets – fruit is on the good list.)

Thus it was that when peanut butter kiss season came once again I decided to buy a bag of the orange and black nemesis. Perhaps I could have one now and then, maybe one every other day. I quickly discovered two facts. The first was that they really weren’t all that good, and the second was that having eaten one I quickly wanted another. This is the worst of all worlds – addiction without pleasure. Having some force of character I threw the bag away after having eaten about ten of the damned things.

This has been my practice ever since. When the season arrives I buy a bag of peanut butter kisses. I eat a few (the hand moves from the bag to the mouth without the need for conscious thought) and then I throw the bag away. I suppose the time will come when I simply won’t bother. Maybe next year, maybe not.

There must be a moral here somewhere, but I’m sure I don’t want to know what it is.

Doctor Jekyll (island) and Mr. Hyde (county)

One evening whilst traveling with Our Lady of the Large Black Dog I casually opined that there might well not be another Hyde county in the United States. I wonder about things like that. We live in an age of major improbabilities that provide fodder for the talking heads of the media. I leave such for the news commentators and concern myself with the minor improbabilities, things like the likelihood of there being but one Hyde county.

In the last century such questions are not easy to answer. I suppose that there must be a registry of US counties somewhere, but I haven’t the slightest idea of where it might be. I still don’t. I don’t need to know. This is year 14 of the world wide web; in this new age one doesn’t go to the research library – one googles, and google I did.

It turns our that there is another Hyde county in North Carolina. However there is no Jekyll county, but there is a Jekyll island. There is a moral here: The evil Mr. Hyde has two counties named after him wheras the good Dr. Jekyll has none, and must content himself with an island. Evil thrives whereas Good retreats to moated fortesses.


In my recent forays into the medical world I was asked if I viewed Disney full-length animated features. I replied that I did, indeed that I doted on them. My examiner replied, “That explains it. You appear to have developed a case of diabetes of the soul.”

Liars and truth

Remember always that one doesn’t refute a liar so as to persuade him of the truth; crackpots do not want truth and will vigorously evade it if by chance it should brush against them. Rather, one refutes liars so that their lies will not take hold in others, and for that purpose truth is wanted in the refutation.

Vistors from the East

For some reason I seldom get visitors from the East coast. I’m not quite sure why that is, but I suppose that it must have something to do with the difference in time zones. On the other hand some NESFAN’s were in Minneapolis recently hand delivering books to a library so that can’t be it. Maybe they’ve heard certain rumors about South Dakota that I shall not repeat.

However visitors do show up from time to time. In 2003 a chap named Dennis Woodworth dropped in during his journey from the East Coast to the West Coast by bicycle. He didn’t quite make it to the West Coast – something to weather in Montana. However he did pass a pleasant day or so in scenic Highmore. Deb and I fed him a gourmet dinner. He seemed to like it (though bicyclists necessarily have enormous appetites) but seemed rather surprised that people ate such things in South Dakota.

More recently Allen Kent and Pat Vandenberg dropped in on their way back from the lastest Los Angeles worldcon. Pat and Allen were active NESFA members back when I was an active member. I gather they aren’t any more, though they still partake of fanac. This time we served good South Dakota beef. Rather, Deb served good South Dakota beef. I asked if they would like wine. Allen said he didn’t care for wine unless perhaps we had an auslese which he didn’t expect us to have. He was right. We were at Deb’s place and all we had there were spatleses (the ausleses were at Chez Harter). However a Mosel spatlese turned out to be quite acceptable.

Unfortunately Chez Harter isn’t well set up for guests at the moment. The guest bedroom has been invaded by piles of stuff that are residing there temporarily whilst the renovation goes on. They managed by staying at the Prairie View motel instead. I hope they have forgiven me.

Missing articles

I have several articles that are supposed to be in the November issue. Actually they were supposed to be in the October issue. They remain half written and unwritten. I really don’t know where the time goes. One of the problems is that I have been writing some code – a command line processing package – and that sort of thing always seems to take more time than expected. Expect good things in the future – probably about 2050.

This page was last updated November 1, 2006.

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Collected editorials