Calvin Inspired Peanut Butter Dilemma Redux

by Danny Zawacki

A while back, I had a peanut butter dilemma. I couldn’t deal with it. I tried and tried to preserve the purity of the top of my peanut butter, and it sunk farther away each time I scooped some out. I didn’t know how to deal with it. So I tried again. And again and each time the same thing happened.

Calvin and Hobbes Peanut Butter Dilemma

Copyright Bill Watterson 1993

Then I thought to myself, maybe I wasn’t thinking big enough. Maybe I needed a bigger jar. Maybe my peanut butter dilemma would be solved if there was more peanut butter to deal with. Maybe somehow having more peanut butter would create a better base to hold up the perfect top. Maybe a larger jar would give me more room to manage the peanut butter and my scooping and scraping could be more controlled. Maybe.

Maybe is only good until you know. I had to know. That’s why I bought a 6-pound tub of peanut butter. Peter Pan peanut butter, because it’s the best and it’s what I used last time I had my peanut butter dilemma. The 6-pound tub would be large enough for my large hands to get in and dissect the peanut butter. The 6-pound tub would be large enough to contain enough peanut butter to support the rest, for longer at least. I’ve had a 6-pounder before, in college, and I ate my way through it in a matter of months. Those were the days. But this time, I was a man on a mission. I needed the 6 pounds of peanut butter to solve my dilemma.

It didn’t work.

It slid.

I wasn’t able to scrape and scoop in a way to keep everything in my control. I could only control the appearance on the top. What happened beneath the surface was out of my control.

Here’s my proof:

My 6-pound peanut butter dilemma

My 6-pound peanut butter dilemma

I think somehow this is all a metaphor for life. I’m not completely sure what that metaphor is and maybe I never will know but each day, it seems like I understand it a bit better. Right now, I’m thinking that it means I can try to control as much of my life as possible, but there’s going to be a lot of it that I cannot control and gets out of my hands. And peanut butter care is a difficult thing to master. More the second one, I think.

But in the end, all I really want is to preserve the top of my peanut butter and not have it slide down the jar. Is that really so much to ask?