23 January 2008

13 Ways of Looking at a Frozen Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich on Your Windshield

The other day, I found a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich, once-bitten, on the windshield of my car, parked outside of my building. I have questions.

1). Was this some kind of silly "tween" hooliganism? [There is some serious grownup sketchiness that happens on my block, but sandwich-throwing could be the sort of spontaneous chicanery that lowercase g's get into before their eyes go dark.]

2). Let's assume that no one would make a sandwich for the sole purpose of throwing it or resting it on someone's windshield (I think we are safe assuming that). SO THEN: Who eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich outside on the street in Minnesota during the coldest week of the winter?

3). Maybe someone somehow was dumb/weird enough to do so - is it possible that they then commenced their preposterous picnic with a hopeful bite into their PB + J, only then being forced to face the (literally) cold, hard facts about winter and sandwiches ... and then, frustrated by their incredible lack of sense, tossed the sandwich blindly over their shoulder?

4). CONFESSION - there is an elementary school right across from my building, so kids do go there and they likely bring lunches with them. SO it is possible that some kid walked out of a bad Nickelodeon sitcom and inspected his lunch on the way to school and said "Peanut Butter and Jelly AGAIN?," made a funny face and then tossed it skyward, accompanied by that cartoon sound effect for tossing things.

5). What is the onomatopoeic equivalent of that sound effect?

6). If we go with the disgruntled schoolkid scenario, we still haven't accounted for the bite ... could someone, vagrant or just curious, have come along, noticed the peanut butter and jelly sandwich on my windshield and put aside all of their questions for a taste, taken a bite, been sated or unimpressed, and then put it right back where they found it?

7). Perhaps the sandwich contained some sort of GPS device slathered over and constituting THE LEAST well thought out way of tracking me possible. How stupid can these spies be - what, do they think I wouldn't notice a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on my windshield? Or that I would notice but just shrug and leave it there, assuming there's no way it could conceal a tracking device? You'll have to wake up a bit earlier in the morning to outwit me, gumshoe.

8). Or maybe I'm thinking a little bit too locally here ... maybe the sandwich fell from above and came from afar - some winter bird that had toted it beakwise a long ways, ever so carefully, and then lost it to a lapse in concentration.

9). Or maybe it presages an imminent event of biblical proportions (biblical contortions?), like the frogs in Magnolia and this is some kind of cosmic false start or a test run ... maybe it will rain peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Minneapolis with the kind of screwball wrath that I've always thought the bible was missing. You laugh? Well, the book says "We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us." Think about it. Think about it and watch your head.

10). Or what if, WHAT IF ... I put it there? What if I've been taking that Ambien sleeping drug, the one that makes people sleepwalk, sleepeat, and sleepdrive. And I got up and made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my sleep. And then went out to the car, but I had to put the sandwich down on the windshield in order to de-ice it and then I just forgot because, hell, I'm asleep anyway. And then I drove somewhere.

11). Where? Maybe I have some secret second life that I conduct in the early morning hours while being entirely asleep. Maybe I have a torrid affair with a woman whose husband was recently rendered quadriplegic after crashing his car (distracted by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich hitting his windshield). Maybe she loves him still and cries when she makes loves to me and the fact that I'm asleep the whole time gives me a silent, passionless demeanor and a surprisingly precise motor ability both of which help us conduct the affair with ruthless efficiency. Oh, hold on, wait ... I don't take Ambien.

12). I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Are one.

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is involved
In what I know.

[apologies to Wallace Stevens, the insurance salesman poet, Connecticut-born]

13). You're reading this laughing at me, aren't you? Here I am, spending time, spending effort thinking about how the peanut butter and jelly sandwich got on my windshield and all the while, YOU put it there. You put it there as a test, as a puzzle. It's a symbol. I totally get it. It means everything, but it means everything by virture of its utter meaninglessness. I'm with you. Heavy stuff. Have you been reading Chinese philosophy or listening to adult contemporary alternative music? You know what we should do? We should make a bunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bite them and go around the city putting them on people's windshields in the middle of the night. It's like concept art - like a "happening" or something. Then they'd all wake up and find the sandwiches on their cars and sort of doubletake and think for a minute and then eventually that enlightenment thing, that "a-ha" would happen to them. And things would all be totally different.

1 comment:

kris said...


I think the sound is "WOOoooo . . . plUHT."

I also think the most likely explanation is biblical birds, or a plague of sandwich-dropping locusts.

Plus, I notice that you hope for a torrid affair, even in your sleepwalking life.

And most importantly, I'm in -- frozen PB&J art happening. We'll stick it to the man!