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John Kelly's Washington

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John Kelly
Washington Post Metro Columnist
Friday, March 6, 2009; 12:00 PM

John Kelly writes about the Washington that doesn't make it onto the front pages. His five-day-a-week Metro column, John Kelly's Washington, is about the normal -- well, relatively normal -- people who call our region home. It's about the joys and annoyances of living in the most important city in the most important country in the world -- as experienced by those of us who, frankly, aren't that important. His blog, John Kelly's Commons, is a place for readers to carry on a digital conversation.

Today: What's the buzz? Chat with John Kelly about the beeps that punctuate our lives, that ugly Prince George's traffic stop, the proper way to make a PB and J sandwich and the last (hopefully) snow storm of the year.

A transcript follows.

Discussion Archives / Recent Columns

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John Kelly: Welcome, welcome. I hope you're not one of the 8.1 percent of Americans who find themselves without a job. If so, perhaps this hour of chat will provide solace. If you ARE working you might want to practice your window-minimizing skills, just in case your boss walks by.

Perhaps you're pondering a new career in law enforcement and are wondering whether you'd be a good candidate for the Prince George's County Police Department. Now, I have tremendous respect for police officers. They put their lives on the line every day. But the videotape that emerged recently sure doesn't make me feel too confident. I blogged about the tape earlier this week and a whole storm was kicked up in the Comments. What amazed me was how hardened the two main camps were: One group believed the officers did nothing wrong. The other believed the motorist did nothing wrong. I think the truth is in the middle somewhere and negotiating that gray area is what makes being a cop so hard--and what makes it so important that we have the best-trained men and women out there in uniform.

The controversy over that videotaped beatdown was overshadowed by my brief little item this week about how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I'm talking more than a hundred e-mails and viewpoints that are divergent are just as rigid as the good cop/bad cop schools of thought. I will doubtless revisit this in a future column, but basically it breaks down into: peanut butter first, wipe knife on second piece of bread; jelly first, wipe knife on second piece of bread; use two knives; wash the knife between condiments; LICK the knife between condiments; use a knife and a spoon; use two spoons; use a special PB&J spreader.

I also discovered unsettling things about some readers. A fairly vocal subset of people make what you might call a BPB&J: They start by putting butter on the bread, THEN peanut butter and jelly. Others mentioned always using frozen bread.

Truly, there are some kinky humans out there.

This week's snow is pretty much just a memory, a few dirty piles that should be gone by this weekend. (Close to 70 I hear!) But it was nice while it lasted. Don't get me wrong: I'm ready for spring. With all the bads news lately, a few glorious spring days may be all the joy we get for a while.

Okay, your turn.


headline/words

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Washington, D.C.: John -- thanks for your great chats. I'm a big supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The annual Race for the Cure in D.C. is one of my family's must-do's every year. I hear that registration for this year's race will open on Tuesday, March 10th, with a kick-off press conference at the Italian Embassy that day featuring Mayor Fenty, Komen Founder Nancy Brinker, and the Italian Ambassador. Lots of Komen champions will be on hand, and Mayor Fenty will announce a truly astounding $3.7 million in Komen community grants to D.C.-area breast health organizations aimed at under-served populations. And this year, on its 20th anniversary, the National Race for the Cure becomes the Global Race for the Cure, to highlight the growing breast cancer crisis worldwide. I hope you and your readers will log on to Race for the Cure on Tuesday and lend your support to this important, rewarding, AND fun annual D.C. event. Thanks!

John Kelly: Unless I'm very much mistake, that was a shameless plug for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, taking place in Washongton on Saturday, June 6, with registration apparently kicking off on Tuesday, March 10.

Okay now, where's the prostate cancer crowd, looking for equal time?

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Herndon, Va.: Mr. K: I was shocked, shocked, to find out -- after reading your column on making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- how many people are making theirs the wrong way. You spread the peanut butter on the left piece of bread, carefully wipe the excess off on the right piece, so you have a clean knife, then put the knife in the jelly and spread on the right. YOU DO NOT LICK THE KNIFE. Nor do you cut the sandwich -- that ruins the flavor. One person in my car pool, who I thought was normal, told me she spreads the jelly on top of the peanut butter. I will associate as little as possible with her from now on. As I reach old age, I have experimented with using two knives, one for each jar, but that's as far as I'll go.

washingtonpost.com: Sandwich Assembly 101: Which Comes First, the Peanut Butter or the Jelly? (John Kelly's Washington, March 5)

John Kelly: But don't you run the risk of tearing the right-most piece of bread while attempting to wipe the sticky peanut butter off on it? I know that I've dragged my knife across the white bread and been horrified to see it rip. NOOOOOoooooooo!

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re: PB and J logistics: Having done J 1st, then PB and vice versa, I think it's better to dip into the jelly jar first. That's because it's easier to scrape jelly remnants from PB than it is to scrape PB fragments from J.

Bon Appetit

John Kelly: Here's the dangerous risk in your method, at least according numerous readers who contacted me and said the peanut butter should ALWAYS come first: Peanut butter is not refrigerated while jelly is. That means that a little bit of peanut butter in your jelly is harmless. But a little bit of jelly in your unrefrigerated peanut butter can fester away in the jar, getting moldy. I think it might be better to use two knives.

In fact, use two entire kitchens, separated by a positive-pressure airlock. Wearing a clean suit, apply peanut butter to a sterile piece of bread in one kitchen. Repeat with jelly in the other kitchen. Put them together in the airlock. Voila! Simple.

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Dark Shadow: Johnboy, have you ever wondered what your chatters are actually doing while they are chatting with you?

John Kelly: "Doing"? I assume what they're doing is chatting with me. I'm not able to do anything while I chat. Oh, that's right. I have to answer all the questions that come my way, whereas you just have to send one in then check back every 10 or 15 minutes to see if it's been answered. I suppose you do have time to bid early and often on eBay or groom you Portuguese water dog during my chat.

Please, do tell: What are youu doing?

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John Kelly: You know, maybe the best thing to do with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is use a laboratory glove box. That's what these two women are doing. The one on the left applies the peanut butter. The one on the right, the jelly.

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Washington, D.C.: What's with all the military helicopters flying over D.C. today?

John Kelly: I'm far from a window so I hadn't noticed. Anyone?

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John Kelly: Oh, before I forget, I wanted to mention that Saturday, March 7 (that's tomorrow) from noon to 6 there's going to be a reunion and record swap at the Wheaton Youth Center, 11711 Georgia Ave. in Wheaton (duh). That's the place I wrote about a while back, where Led Zeppelin supposedly played its first D.C.-area concert. Filmmaker Jeff Krulik will be there interviewing people for his documentary on that historic (or apocryphal) event. For more info, contact Jeff at jeff@jeffkrulik.com or 202-966-5304.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Favorite variation on the good old PB and J...peanut butter and Potato chip sandwich and Peanut Butter and pickle sandwich, but MUST be a bread and butter pickle!

John Kelly: You know, I was joking when I mentioned peanut butter and pickles, little knowing the strange predilections of Washington Post readers. OF course, my dad has been known to eat peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches. And one reader wrote in to say that peanut butter and mayonnaise was a treat while another said peanut butter goes surprisingly well with tuna.

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Columbia, Md.: Don't you know that the reason we develop presbyopia as we get older is so when we are not wearing our reading glasses (or bifocals in your case) and look at ourselves in the mirror we can't see the wrinkles. It works.

On another note, I wear contacts and reading glasses but also have a pair of progressive glasses and I have a really hard time reading my computer screen with them on. Hope you don't have the same problem.

John Kelly: I went to the eye doctor yesterday and meant to bring in my prescription today. As predicted, he said I need bifocals, or as he called them "no-line bifocals." Aka progressive lenses. He said I should get either Verilux or Zeiss lenses and if the optician offers me another brand to ask if I can get a full refund if not satisfied.

When I said that I supposed this was an inevitable consequence of aging, he pulled a little typed piece of paper off the wall. He'd had it for close to 40 years, he said, and it was a cheat sheet on the additional lense power needed as people get older. It read something like this:
40 .25
42 .50
47 .75
50 1.00
etc.

He claims progressives are easy to get used to. "It just takes your brain a few days." We'll see what my brain has to say about that.

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Arlington Gay: I have no jelly in my fridge nor peanut butter in my pantry. The only bread on my counter is rye. The only time I buy jelly is when I make meatballs. Does this make me un-American?

John Kelly: Jelly in meatballs? What is it, calves' foot jelly?

And, yes, I think you need to get some peanut butter in your pantry, or at least one of those fake peanut butter jars that you can hide valuables in.

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Falls Church, Va.: John,

I missed last week and wanted to share the personalized plates I've had over the years: PR1C1S MSRTNW RUSTICA (a play on "rustang" - it was a rusty old Celica) UBTHRME H8MY455

John Kelly: Those are five different plates, right? Let's see if I can translate:
PR1C1S: priceless?
MSRTNW: Miss Robert Norwood?
RUSTICA: Driven by the owner of an Italian bakery?
UBTHRME: You be through me. Driven by a sword swallower?
H8MY455: Hate my .45 times 5; that is I hate the five .45-caliber handguns I own.

How'd I do?

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What are we doing?: I'm doing Milbank's chat too. You're faster.

John Kelly: He probably has to think before answering. Plus, it's hard for him to type with a martini in one hand.

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What am I doing?: Grading 36 Anthropology midterms (and I have 39 from another class to go). And then ... Spring Break!

John Kelly: Any surprises so far? Anyone mispell "cro magnon"?

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Alberta, Canada: Well, there is your big mistake right there. You 'never' use white bread for a PB and J sandwich! Whole wheat or 12-grain is every right-thinking person's choice.

John Kelly: Several readers complained about the photo that accompanied my column. They were horrified by the Wonder bread. Others said the proper PB&J uses ONLY Wonder bread. It all comes down to what you were raised with, I guess, what you imprinted on as a child.

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Tearing the Bread: That's why I always use my homemade sourdough bread.

ummmmm, sourdough

John Kelly: I've done that before. It's quite the piquant combination. Now, would it work on focaccio? Or panini?

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PB and not J: Here's the world's best sandwich: toast the bread, spread a lot of extra crunchy Jif on one slice, put slices together, cut in half on the diagonal. Leave the jelly on the shelf.

John Kelly: Why on the diagonal? There are differences of opinion about this too. Some people claim cutting on the diagonal "improves the taste." Show me the scientific proof!

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Alexandria, Va.: OK, if we're plugging our favorite events today, everyone should remember to head to Old Town Alexandria TOMORROW for the St. Patrick's Day parade. The parade starts out at King and West streets at 12:30, and proceeds all the way down to King and Fairfax streets. This year there are 94 units, including 11 bag pipe bands! Go to The Ballyshaners for more info!

John Kelly: Fine, fine. Anyone have a yard sale this weekend?

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PBJ: When I was a kid, my mom always kept our peanut butter in the refrigerator, and I took a cold peanut butter and jelly sandwich to lunch at school probably 85 percent percent of the time, from elementary through high school. Jelly always first; cold, hard-to-spread pb always second.

John Kelly: Peanut butter in the refrigerator? Ice-cold sandwiches in your lunch box? Your mom didn't give you a hard time about using wire hangers too, did she?

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Vanity Plates: Falls Church's list of plates and your interpretation just confirm that most people who have vanity plates think (wrongly) that other people care about what they have to say...they are the same people who send Christmas letters....If you have to validate your life or your car through other people, get counseling!

John Kelly: I think most people do it for themselves, because they get a kick out of, no matter what other people might think. It's like, I might wear a cravat not to seek validation from other people but because I like the feeling of silk on my neck and the way it hides my wattles.

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Baltimore, Md.: Comments on two "Commons" postings: Re the cops and the motorist -- I have to wonder about PG's vetting process if they hire someone who evidently had enough trouble serving with the Transit Police that he had to go to, as he put it, "hug a thug" classes more than once. It sounds like he's not exactly a "serve and protect" type.

Secondly, on the bus driver striking McGruff, is the driver too stupid to know that this character is always donned by a policeman who is doing an "Officer Friendly" gig? I mean, I don't think slapping anyone is funny unless they are in on the gag, put punching a cop is the height of idiocy. Even the motorist with the blue lights (bought at K-Mart?) is smart enough to not do that.

John Kelly: The real issue with that PG traffic stop was that the police officers claimed the motorist punched one of them n the stomach the moment he got out of the car. That's clearly not the case. Something may have happened out of view of the camera but it looks like the motorist was just being a heel-dragging jerk as opposed to going after the police.

And you're right: Punching a cop, even if he is in a dog costume, is a bad idea.

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Grading Midterms: Actually, we don't use the term "Cro-Magnon" anymore, it's too vague. It's " Pre-Modern Homo sapiens."

John Kelly: Have we reached "Post-Modern Homo sapiens" yet?

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PB and J: I wipe the knife on a piece of paper towel in between. And of course you put the jelly right on the peanut butter! Really, people.

John Kelly: Use a paper towel? And contribute to deforestation? And aren't all those people using two knives contributing to global warming, what with twice as many utensils to wash?

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PB and J: I notice you haven't had the nerve to ask question of creamy vs crunchy.

John Kelly: That's even more fraught with danger than Ginger vs. Mary Ann.

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Washington, D.C.: I used to be a BPB and J person, and never realized there was anyone else like that except me and my dad. (We also enjoy cottage cheese and olive sandwiches. I figured we were just weird with our sandwiches.)

My husband enjoys peanut butter (PB) and sliced banana (BP on bread (B), drizzled with honey. We've taken to calling it PBBBT!

John Kelly: "PBBBT"? Isn't that what Bill the Cat used to say? You could call that sandwich the "Berkeley Breathed."

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Maryland: Sourdough? PLEASE! Not gonna happen. That isn't acceptable. WHITE bread. Preferably Wonder Brand. And don't even TALK to me if you think about using Potato Bread.

And what about crusts/no crusts? I notice you didn't even GO there.

John Kelly: Someone e-mailed to say that the correct way is to spread the peanut butter and jelly all the way to the edges and then cut the crusts off, thus ensuring total coverage. I imagine you get your hands sticky using this method.

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PB and J cheater: I'll admit it's cheating, but I like to make the process easier by getting the jar that has both peanut butter and jelly swirled together. I'm a heretic.

John Kelly: Put it in a squeeze bottle and you wouldn't even need bread. You could just squirt it right into your mouth. I'm sure that's what the astronauts do.

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Tyson's Corner, Va.: I do not like PB and J sandwiches. I was traumatized by my mother constantly sending them in my lunches, and the jelly seeping thru the thin, white, cheap Wonder-type bread. Even though I told her I did not like them. She said she wasn't a "short-order cook." (In her defense, she did have six kids, so...) But, I still cringe when I even think of jelly these days. The coldness, the genatinoiusness, shudder. Even worse was when she she combined it with a slab of hard, cold cream cheese. That was HORRIBLE! Today, I only like jelly when it's warmed up, like when it's put on hot toast and it mixes with the butter. Mmm, now that's good.

John Kelly: You see how deeply ingrained our feelings toward this simple American staple are? Like Proust's "petites madeleines," they conjure up all sorts of deep-seated memories.

If only your mother had done what a few readers suggested: spread a thin layer of peanut butter on BOTH slices of bread before putting the jelly in between. The peanut butter forms a spackling compound-like seal, protecting the bread--and avoiding years of heartache.

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Ginger vs Mary Ann?: What do you mean Ginger vs Mary Ann? Get real. Mrs. Howell rocks.

John Kelly: Well Mr. Howell always seemed to have a smile on his face.

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Washington, D.C.: Metro really upset me this morning. I was riding the bus, the computer lady who tells us what stop it is and to report suspicious activity also implored me to keep myself safe by buckling my seatbelt. The bus has no seatbelts! I immediately felt unsafe. What are they trying to accomplish?

John Kelly: Are you serious? I haven't heard that one. Perhaps you misheard. Perhaps she said "Please be sure to suckle your meatballs." No, I don't know what it means either. Perhaps Arlington Gay does.

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Put it in a squeeze bottle and you wouldn't even need bread. You could just squirt it right into your mouth. I'm sure that's what the astronauts do.: You totally stole that line from the comedian Brian Regan. He has a PB and J bit from a CD that was out about 10 years ago. It is gut bustin' funny.

John Kelly: REally? Total coincidence. I've never heard of the guy, but he's obviously a genius.

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PB and J alternative: Did you forget one? Mix peanut butter and jelly in a bowl first, then spread on sandwich.

John Kelly: And get a bowl dirty? Who's going to wash it?

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Peanut Butter and pickle sandwich, but MUST be a bread and butter pickle!: True for a PBJ and pickle sandwich, but for my favorite, PB and bacon, only dill will do. Or you can substitute sliced olives for the pickle. Yum!

John Kelly: I was hungry. Now? Not so much.

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What are you doing? : Obsessively hitting "refresh" while waiting for you to answer questions faster. (what can I say, it's slowed down here...)

John Kelly: I'mtypingasfastasIcan!

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Bethesda, Md.: Hi John! If you were Brad Pitt (or Angelina if you want -- we won't judge), where would you like to go in D.C.?

P.S. Are you still collecting pictures of gloves? Can I e-mail them to you?

John Kelly: CIA headquarters. And I bet they'd let me in, too, especially if I was Angelina.

Yes, send me your glove pictures: kellyj@washpost.com. With the spring thaw on the way I need to hurry up and do something with this wonderful collection.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi John, I want to add to post-PBJ sandwich making. There were right-handed siblings in my family who made theirs with PB on the left slice of bread and J on the right, spread with a knife, no mixing any PB with the J, and all that fun type-A kinda stuff. And that the lefties did it in mirror order was not a big deal. What became the big deal was when I bit out of the middle of my half a PB and J sandwich, for I was immediately called a COMMUNIST. Evidently, folks of other political perspectives (read: the correct one, whatever that was) ate their sandwich halves from corner to corner. Signed, Commie Claud

John Kelly: You were just a little agitator, weren't you? An agent provacateur. You probably ate a slice of cake from the rounded, frosted end, too, rather than the pointy end. Have you no shame, sir?

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What am I doing?: Reading the latest in treatments for canine lymphoma.

Had to turf a thorny case to a veterinary oncologist, since the poor dog is worse than the average pup.

John Kelly: Poor critter. While we were in England our black lab had two little growths: one on his lip and one on his leg. Both were removed but we didn't pay to have them tested. If they'd been bad news we couldn't have afforded to get him treatment anyway (very expensive in England, and the dollar was in the toilet). Neither has grown back so we think he's all right.

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Diagonal proof by reductio ad absurdum: If you don't think the way a PB and J is cut changes the way you experience the taste, try putting your perfectly-spread sandwich on a cutting board, taking a butcher knife, and chopping it into 150 little pieces and eating it that way. You will have a different taste experience, trust me. The diagonal/right angle difference is the same sort of thing, just more subtle.

John Kelly: I think if you served that up at a fancy restaurant you'd have a hit on your hands. All those little mini-sandwiches, so cute and tasty.

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Brian Regan on PB and J: Brian Regan- Peanut Butter & Jelly (Live) (YouTube)

John Kelly: Thank you. We will all watch that--after the chat.

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Dag nabit: in my bored state at work I just remembered the chat!

Am I too late?

I sent you a glove shot from out West!

John Kelly: Yes, you are. We've been talking about you for the last hour. Someone said you put peanut butter on the OUTSIDE of your bread, you sicko.

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Alexandria, Va.: I'm with Tyson's Corner -- after living on PB and J from elementary through high school, I wouldn't care if I never ate one again. You can gussy it up however you want, it's still the dregs of the sandwich universe.

John Kelly: Oh c'mon, it's gotta be better than a Luncheon Loaf sandwich. I'm always suspicious of a food stuff whose name doesn't actually describe what's in it.

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Careful with those new glassess, John: When you first start wearing progressive lenses, you have to adjust to the sudden shifts in your vision as your eyes move around. Walking down steep steps can be hazardous, and suddenly looking up from a book to see something across the room can make you dizzy. It goes away after a couple of days. The day after I got my first pair, I had to proof an index, looking back and forth from the index on my left to the manuscript on my right. It made me seasick.

John Kelly: I'm really looking forward to this. Now I know why people put it off as long as possible.

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Why Diagonal:: Because it's fun to bite off the pointy ends.

John Kelly: Just like the head on a chocolate bunny!

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Rockville, Md.: What I do during the chat. I eat lunch and check out the other chats. Warren Brown always has an interesting one concurrent with yours.

John Kelly: Go Warren!

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HA!: ...you said panini

John Kelly: Someone sent me a link to this ad for Sun Pat peanut butter, an English brand. (Yes, they have peanut butter in England. It just isn't any good.) The slogan is "It's peanutritious!" which unfortunately I can only hear as "It's pee nutritious!"

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He said I should get either Verilux or Zeiss lenses: get Zeiss; they're made in Virginia and you may be helping a neighbor (Okay, stretching distances a bit) keep their job

John Kelly: I thought Zeiss were made by Germans in lab coats.

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Speaking of PB Sandwiches: I've never understood why someone would ruin perfectly good peanut butter with jelly. Spread PB on both sides, lick knife, throw knife in sink, but the two sides of bread together, and eat.

John Kelly: Said the man from the peanut lobby...

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PB and J: With how common peanut allergies are these days, I'm surprised stores still sell peanut butter. I have seen at least one peanut butter jar that warns: Item contains peanuts. This is ridiculous.

My sister-in-law has a severe peanut allergy, so a little PB in the jelly could be deadly. Thus, there are always two knives used, assuming I'm lucky enough to get my wife to allow PB in the house.

John Kelly: Right. Some people take it pretty seriously. One reader said she has one son with peanut allergies and another without. The one without has come to like soynut butter, which is what his brother gets. How to make a proper soynut butter and jelly sandwich is a whole 'nother discussion.

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Chunky PB only: Whatever order you spread it, you must use chunky PB. And strawberry jelly, not grape. And of course, always white bread. Though I give my little one whole wheat. Go figure!

John Kelly: I guess you figure there's hope for your kid, whereas it's too late for you.

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I am slow: From the recent blog entry about unfortunate names -- I don't get the Jenny Taylor one...

John Kelly: Anyone care to illuminate?

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Natural peanut butter: Well, if you use natural peanut butter (this is the stuff that is made with, um, you know, peanuts and NOTHING ELSE -- well maybe some salt) you do refrigerate that...so if you got your jelly into it its unlikely to fester much.

For the record, I make my PB and Js ALL ways. Which is probably illegal in Virginia.

John Kelly: My wife's cousin wrote a story years ago for The Post Food section on how he roasts and grinds his own peanut butter. He said it's dangerously addictive, the crack cocaine of the sandwich world.

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U Street, NW, D.C.: Don't leave us Nutella folks out in the cold! I do eat that straight from the jar. Yum!

John Kelly: I remember the first time I had some of that. I was about 14, in Switzerland. We were staying with a friend of my father's. For breakfast we had toast and this chocolate stuff. I couldn't believe it. You mean you spread chocolate on toast AND EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST? Now there's always a jar in our cupboard.

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Richmond, Va.: Any way this can evolve into a Nutella conversation?

John Kelly: It just did!

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Cutting into a sandwich: I remember a Peanuts cartoon from the glory years (early sixties) where Linus, or maybe Sally, asked for a "bread-and-butter sandwich" and went into a panic when Charlie Brown picked up a knife. "No! Don't cut it! Just fold it over." Why? Cutting it makes the flavor leak out.

John Kelly: Not having had lunch yet, I think I could eat a bread-and-bread sandwich, folded or cut.

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Diagonal cut: more surface area: more flavor. That is why shaved lunch meat tastes better than one thick slab, and why whole garlic is more subtle than minced.

John Kelly: I get the shaved meat part, and I agree, but wouldn't minced garlic create more surface area, lots of little facets of garlic?

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John Kelly: Allow me:
Jenny Taylor = genitalia

It may help if you say it like an English person.

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Washington, D.>C.: For the peanut butter and banana poster -- my grandfather loved those and called them "chokers" because all the components were a bit sticky going down.

John Kelly: It's a brave man who will eat a sandwich called a "choker."

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Alexandria, Va.: I've had vanity plates for better than 10 years now. Love it because it's the only way I can remember my license plate number. If other people get a laugh or smile out of reading them, too, that's fine, but it's purely a side effect. And what kind of grouch doesn't like Christmas letters? I can never see the point of Christmas cards signed simply "Love, the Jones family." I want to know what folks are doing, not just that they still exist.

John Kelly: I agree about the Christmas cards. Even a line or two about what you're up to is enough. Otherwise, it's like the card I get from my insurance agent or realtor.

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Anonymous: "John Kelly: CIA headquarters. And I bet they'd let me in, too, especially if I was Angelina."

If I WERE Anglina -- subjunctive contrary-to-fact, dude.

John Kelly: oops.

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High Wycombe, U.K.: Peanut butter is so pedestrian. Try Marmite; it will put hair on your chest.

John Kelly: It'll take it off, too. That stuff will strip paint. And yet, strangely, British people seem just as fond of it as we Yanks do about peanut butter.

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Bethesda, Md.: Hi John. Don't sign off yet. I've been wanting to ask you if you twitter or not, Have a wonderful weekend!

John Kelly: I'm an occasional Twitterer, at JohnKelly. Usually I'm just too busy!

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Nutella: I just made Nutella cupcakes and would LOVE a nutella icing recipe. Yesterday I put it in my plain yogurt -- much better than any fruity on the bottom flavor. Must. Include. More. Nutella. In. My. Life.

John Kelly: Ask the Food section chatters next Wednesday and report back to us.

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Best variation on a PB and J ever!: Instead of jelly use marshmallow fluff. Instead of peanut butter use Nutella (it's a nut butter isn't it?). Use Brioche bread. And don't forget to press it in the Panini.

John Kelly: That sounds like a work of art. I'd be afraid to eat it.

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Koogle?: Anyone remember Koogle?

John Kelly: Aren't these exercises pregnant women do with their Jenny Taylors?

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Arlington straight: Am I too late to get in on this?

I've never been a big fan of PB and J. I always preferred cheese and jelly sandwiches.

American with grape jelly is good. Gouda with any purple jelly is awesome.

John Kelly: Yes, I'm sorry. We don't have time to get that comment in.

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Thank you: Chats like these are the reason I continue subscribing to the Post. I want to support a paper that will host a discussion on PB and J. (Yes, I'm being serious, not sarcastic.)

John Kelly: I like 'em too.

Thanks for all the great comments. There were tons I didn't have time to post. Suffice to say there's a strange and wonderful world out there of peanut butter and jelly lovers. I just hope the anti-potato bread and pro-potato bread groups never meet on a dark night.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the weekend. And join me next week when we'll discuss another pressing issue. (Pringles versus Lays, perhaps?)

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