Tuesday, November 2, 2010


More typical lunchtime antics from the US National Arboretum...

Today amidst a conversation about burps vs belches....I leaned into George and said, "This is the dumbest conversation we've ever had..." George counters with, "I'd be careful, this might not be THE dumbest."

Which turned us on to revisiting the 'Best of Dumb" starting with a ridiculous 5th grade discussion from a few weeks back about hot peppers and how hot is hot and who can eat the hottest ones...enter Ed carrying a bag of potato chips that boasted the name 'Mamazuma's Revenge.' It then became about how many bags one man can eat and whether he licks the foil or not after he finishes it (Tony (from the original lunchtime blog post "Critters" )of course licks the foil and then sweats and complains about how hot his mouth is until the end of lunch.)  We revisit a discussion about whether it would be better to drown or to be shot in the head, which is a lively yet disturbing and somewhat dark debate that doesn't end...Even when we revisit, it just starts the debate again...incidentally most of the women and George picked drowning and all the other men picked getting shot in the head...and they would defend it all day if lunch wasn't only a 1/2 hour long....

Then we move onto other childish activities... Too start ---and this is true-- if you take a plastic jar of JIF peanut butter that is 1/2 full and spin it like a top, it makes the most amazing sound.  Its a sound you could never identify, kind of like a spinning turbine, we (and when I say 'we'  I mean Pat and Joe) start with one jar that has been unrefrigerated and test it against a refrigerated jar.  I'm pretty sure 'unrefrigerated' won out for sound AND the cool shape the Peanut butter was spun into on the inside of the jar.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is like show and tell for nerdy adults.

Another day someone brought in Japanese raspberries from Asian Valley.  They are very beautiful to look at but not to eat. Almost everyone tried them and almost everyone said that they "tasted like a caterpilar"-ew- I didn't try one...and then Michael remembers that he has a sling shot and then the fun really begins...I'm not kidding...everyone cleans up though which is nice and no one aims the sling shot at anyone's face, which is nice too.

The best part is that at the same table on any given day are a pile of old Horticulture or wildlife magazines that someone is giving away or a cake or roasted pumpkin seeds that someone brought in to share. Those things spark lively debates too...how to roast the best pumpkin seed, which birds are still endangered (because the magazines are from 1990) and any talk of endangered species usually gets people worked up about whether the Panda should be saved or not. Add to that talk of whether it's fair to close a perfectly good fishing beach, just to preserve some unknown endangered bird's nest...

In the end after reminiscing through the 'best of dumb', Ed walks in. This is the same Ed from before with the spicy potato chips.  Today he's splurged and gone to get a sandwich from A. Litteris  --a famous DC Italian Grocer since 1926.  Suddenly Ed is unwrapping a small block of esoteric Italian cheese that sells for $25 a pound.  Then he passes samples to everyone and compares it to some other snooty cheese he's familiar with.  This is what I love about this place.

1 comment:

  1. Laurie...Hahahaaaa!! Your lunch (1/2) hour sounds pretty awesome to me. I love all your pics, too. :-)