No peanut butter brings sweet sorrow

For textbooks: Just the facts, maam.

For textbooks: Just the facts, ma’am.

Amber Hall

America is currently facing a devastating shortage.

In case anyone isn’t aware of the travesty that has swept across the nation, good, quality peanut butter has been absent from grocery store shelves for more than a month.

OK, so maybe it’s not that tragic. It’s not like our economic foundation depends solely on peanut butter sales for survival, or that our cars or other forms of machinery would spontaneously halt if they didn’t have their required dosage of peanut butter for fuel. But for a college student whose daily diet and primary source of protein for the past year has consisted of Peter Pan’s Whipped Creamy Peanut Butter, this is more than I, and other peanut butter lovers, can bear.

Now, walking through the condiment aisle at Wal-Mart has become a major source of my depression. When I see the vacant shelf with nothing but the rejected crunchy and natural peanut butter, I think back to happier times when I could easily grasp a jar of Peter Pan in my hand and skip merrily to the check-out, knowing full well that when I returned within the next week that there would still be plenty of jars left for the taking.

But much like the numbers “4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42” spelt doom for the people on Oceanic Flight 815, the number “2111” has sealed the doomed fate of Peter Pan, and Americans have had to find substitutes for their peanut butter. Now, we’ve entered a new era. Where once the foundation of peanut butter was plentiful, it is now scarce and fragile. America has plunged face first into the shallow end of the Great Peanut Butter Famine.

Now, not only have Peter Pan preferrers suffered, but Jif and Skippy’s fan base has had to beat previous Peter Pan buyers to the store to rightfully claim their jars of PB. Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan consumers have all become mortal enemies in their never-ending battles of keep away. People are hoarding two to three jars at a time in order to make sure that their foes aren’t keeping all the peanut butter to themselves.

Stores have tried to replace the lack of peanut butter by placing jars of its international equivalent, Nutella, closer together on the shelves. So far, nobody’s taking notice. Somehow, chocolaty hazelnut just doesn’t have the same appeal on a sandwich as peanut butter does.

Ultimately, peanut butter lovers need to be more generous to one another and realize that we are all in this together. Through these hard times of shortage and famine, we need to lend a hand, or a jar, to one another, instead of keeping all the creamy, nutty goodness to ourselves.

So, college students take out that extra jar of Jif peanut butter hiding in the third drawer of your desk and give it to Mrs. Pumberly down the street whose six kids have been without peanut butter to go on their jelly sandwiches for days now. Sharing in times of famine is always hard. But until peanut butter is abundant again, let’s generate some moral fiber and resist buying that extra jar of peanut butter.