We ring in the new year (pronounced “twenty-eleven”) by pondering the “homeless-announcer-guy-with-the-’golden-voice’” phenomenon and taking callers a-plenty. The Idea Guy and Vlad offer their services. City workers Toucan and Charlie heatedly tell us know how the snow job’s going. Then, it’s a rocky road to play the pajama game with Mr. Patel.
I did some more jokey talking shenanigan flipper-dee-flap-jacks on the stage at Tierney’s in Montclair. I’ve done other rooms – I swear – but this is the easiest one to tape at. At one room – I accidentally taped a french fry during my set – and it didn’t laugh even once.
In this set – the topic is “Bugs and things that bug me.”
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.
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