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Alright . . . all of the plants have been watered, the oven is off, animals have all been given their instructions, the trash has been taken out and all of the lights around headquarters. We are officially closing up shop for the remainder of 2010.

Did you have a good year?! I really hope so. I think that for the most part everyone around here did. At least those are the early reports coming in from all of our field ops. I rust in my field ops. because they are ops-er-iffic!

Now – some of you get twitchy when breaks are taken (which is understandable . . . I miss me when I go to bed at night (a joke)) – – so – – I’ve had Robot go through the last year and pick out 10 nifty stories. Here they are in no particular order, I hope that you love them.

You are our best friend.

Thanks,

– N.Bumpercar

I ate a corn nut and I loved it.

And . . .

I am absolutely serious.

For my entire life, I could hear someone say the words “corn nuts” and I would feel compelled to leave the room. They sounded like old broken people – who were made up old stale beer- who lived in a beat down dive bar – who I didn’t want to meet – or know – or smell – or anything.

I feel like I need to clarify a couple of small points . . . I am a big fan of corn and I am also a fan of dive bars – so – don’t you jump all over me. Don’t you do it.

I was at a party of some sort and I saw a bowl full of little crunchy golden bits – and – I decided that the moment had finally come. I popped one in my mouth and had the initial feeling of something hard in my mouth and the taste of salt on my tongue. I bit down and was astounded at how it was literally a kernel of corn – but bigger and infinitely crunchier and tastier.

Hopefully I’m not being overly dramatic here – but – seriously – this has been a major change in my life and I’m still a little shaken by the whole thing.

My mind was racing trying to figure out if it was a healthy treat – or – if I would be able to at least pretend that it was healthy . . . but it turns out that is a losing battle – these are not healthy treats. I then decided that I needed to know more about them – like where they came from – how they were invented – and why I had avoided them for so long. I did some research for the first two quandaries and found that they were invented by Albert Holloway in 1936 and were a huge hit for bars because of their cheap salty goodness. They are made by soaking corn kernels for a few days in water – which is where the puffiness comes from – and then dropped into hot oil – which is where the crunchy crispiness and the not so good for you part comes from.

The last part – the “why had I avoided them” part is the real conundrum . . . and it is a mystery that I will only be able to solve after deep personal introspection of staring at myself in mirrors . . . and also after eating several more bags of my favorite new snack . . . the corn nut.

So – everyone – drop whatever inhibition is holding you back from these delightful golden chunks of corny goodness and get to eating them – eating them – eating them. I can almost guarantee that you will be happy that you did.

Quickly – I feel like I should point out that I have only had corn nuts from Fairway Market, Whole Foods and that bowl at the party that I mentioned before – so – I am not sure about the different levels and varieties of corn nuts that are out there in the world – but – I am thrilled that they are out there – because I aim to meet them and great them and eat them as I find them. All I know is that the corn nuts that I have eaten have given me a real twinkle in my eye and a slightly fried corn tinge to my breath.

As for me?! Well, now – I aim to learn how to create them at home.

Yes, I do.

Oh, yes I do.