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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column being chased by jungle voodoo warriors with grass saws.

The first person we told this to said we shouldn’t repeat it to anyone. Those usually turn out to be the most entertaining stories, so here’s to defying advice:

We slept horribly last night. We should have known when we were falling asleep listening to the dog violently and noisily dreaming. We woke up the first time from this dream in a hot, sticky sweat. We even got up, went to the kitchen and got some water. Then, we went back to sleep and the dream continued!



Basically, it involved us and whole bunch of other field agents being chased around by painted-up guys in grass skirts and headdresses, all of them wielding these very sharp sword-spear combos. They were hacking everyone around us. Fortunately, in this dream there was no blood (have at that tidbit, you Freudian-Jungian analysts!) – very good, considering there were several beheadings.

Heroes that we are, we eventually wrested one of these weapons from an attacker, only to learn, however, that it was actually a big palm frond or something that took some skill to wield. Every time we tried to hack at a witch doctor samurai, our blade went limp (please, don’t try to analyze that one).



We bring this up simply to warn our readers: Those of you tromping around dream land should avoid poking your noses in the bushes.

***

The mention of boiled peanuts touched a few nerves out there in Readerland. Just look at all these responses to the column from this weekend:

Kathryn e-mailed us saying, “As I sat here eating my roast beef sandwich and drinking my root beer through my extra-wide straw from Arby’s, I read your article and had to laugh. My co-worker and I both noticed the super straws just about the time I read Summit Up.

“Also, I have an answer to the boiled peanut bumper-sticker question, and it’s not a Southern thaang, but an East Coast thing. They have roadside stands which sell boiled peanuts, which some consider a delicacy which MUST be stopped for.”

Karen DeBonville, who lives in New Hampshire and says she’s an avid reader of ours (and whose name would also make a great car model, we think), said boiled peanuts ARE a Southern thing – which she noticed every mile or so on her I-95 drive from Florida to New Hampshire. And then she pimped us for a Shout Out! to her friends: Hello to Mark, RaeAnne, Alex and Thomas DeBonville.

Banks on Airport Road e-mailed and cleared up the mystery for us, adding that the key is the brine the peanuts are boiled in.

Steve Morse, somewhere here in the mountains, wrote us an opus on boiled peanuts. First, he noted, we must properly refer to them as “hot bol pnuts,” which is what you see painted on the sides of barns in the South.

“While you can actually buy canned boiled peanuts in stores, the aficionado will always prefer the roadside variety, if not for the overall experience, then certainly for the taste,” Steve says.

Steve notes the, shall we say, “earthy” quality of boiled peanut vendors and says the peanuts are one of life’s simple pleasures.

“Unfortunately, even this time-honored tradition of the old South has, in recent years, been influenced by the yuppification of America. Today, it is possible to find boiled peanuts in “flavorful’ varieties. Just like the bastardization of coffee – hazelnut Swiss almond creme mocha capuccino – cajun boiled peanuts are an abomination.  Steer clear. I like to think of myself as a progressive liberal minded person, but purity of tradition is a fine thing, and change is not always good.”

And Steve said he’d even make us some. Thanks, Steve.

Finally, Gwen in Georgia (we always hoped we’d have fans in Hazzard County!), said there’s boiled peanut stands all over the place in the summer.

“Don’t ask me why,” she wrote. “They have no flavor at all.”

***

It’s Thursday. We’re out boiling styrofoam peanuts …


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