Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Peanut shell buffalo

I was hungry, so I decided to eat. There is a good burger place a few blocks away from me called Five Guys. It is a small chain in the Washington - Baltimore area. They make really good burgers.

I walked outside and into the hot soupy evening. It was like walking through a nice split pea, or perhaps potato leek, soup. I did not want soup; I wanted a cheeseburger. I was kind of angry when I got to the restaurant.

I ate my cheeseburger and fries in the air-conditioned restaurant, and my mood improved. It was a really good burger. Then I walked to the door and noticed a sign: "DUE TO SEVERE PEANUT ALLERGIES IN SOME NEIGHBORHOOD CHILDREN, PLEASE DO NOT THROW OR CARRY PEANUTS OR PEANUT SHELLS OUTSIDE THIS RESTAURANT."

Five Guys gives you free peanuts as a snack while you're waiting for your burger. This is pretty nice of them. Peanuts cost money.

I was curious about these neighborhood children, so I tried an experiment. I took a peanut shell outside, and dropped it onto the sidewalk. Nothing happened for a little while. Then I heard a low rumble that grew into a tremendous thundering, like the sound of buffalo hooves in the ears of Lewis and Clark. Around every corner, through every bush, over every rooftop, out of every drainpipe cascaded hundreds of slavering children with peanut allergies. Their eyes were not human. They had only one thing on their minds: peanut. The Peanut Horde approached with the rapidity of an allergic jet plane. Spittle was getting in my eyes. I snatched the peanut shell up off the ground just in time. The children disappeared imperceptibly, disinterestedly, shuffling off to their dens.