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HomeOpinionThe Papa Files by Vincent Cardegin

The Papa Files by Vincent Cardegin

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A long time ago I complained about there being too many peanuts in my cans of nuts, so from then on my wife only buys a version called “Deluxe,” which has pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and hazelnuts.

Well, I still like peanuts, and I’ve told her that, but she never remembers.  And I never remember to get a can of just peanuts when I’m shopping.  I like the long kind, salted, with a bit of their own oil, and with those tiny leaves inside.

So the other day when I was shopping at a different version of Exwork, I suddenly remembered and spent considerable time exploring the shelves, looking up and down, back and forth, adjusting my readers as needed.  There were none of those long peanuts, not even by Planters.  I even read the labels on the empty sections, but I don’t know what the long peanuts are called, so I didn’t know if the store normally carries them.

I used to buy bags of unshelled peanuts, but I no longer care for the effort required to eat them.  They’re dry, no oil at all, and I will not suck the shells, where the salt is.  I prefer shelled and no debris in my lap.  And it’s the same for all nuts.  I’m not sure unshelled nuts have an expiration date, but I do, and for everything.  Mine is based on the date when I decide I’m never going to eat it.  Immediately thereafter is when I throw it away.

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The best thing about nuts is that they get rid of hiccoughs.  Beef jerky works too, but that’s more expensive.  When I was a teen and early adult I would get killer hiccoughs about once a week.  I learned to stop it with concentration, mental deliberation, holding my breath and then exhaling slowly.  And eventually I cured the torment altogether.

But when I turned six hundred months old it started up again.  All of a sudden, while sitting at my desk working on some hobby, I’d start bouncing out of my computer chair with a vicious version of that strange diaphragmatic affliction.  Mental stuff didn’t work, and so by happenstance, being hungry, I munched a handful of nuts, and that stopped it.

I thought it was the protein, but much later I discovered that other snacks worked: raisins, crackers, and corn chips, sometimes in combination.  Still, nuts are quickest and tastiest.

I remember one of the olden remedies, drinking a glass of water, which never worked for me, though it must have worked for others.  The act of swallowing is what did it, but I needed more; I needed chewing before swallowing, and as you probably know, it’s very difficult to chew water.

Now days I can tell when my insides are about to start hopping, and so I have enough time to make an oldie but yummy snack that I’ve eaten for decades, and which works just fine: peanut butter on a slice of bread with a hearty dripping of honey.  If you spread the honey on first, it dries a little and gets crunchy in the bread, which compliments the creamy peanut butter.  It’s not as quick as tossing a handful of snacks in my mouth, but at least I don’t suffer from accidentally sneezing corn chip crumbles into my nose.  I’ve done that, and they don’t quickly dissolve in a sinus cavity.

P.S. I finally rediscovered the name of those long, oily, salty legumes with the little leaf inside: cocktail peanuts.


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