Let’s suppose your mother thinks of you as “Nuts.” But let’s also pretend you’re really just a harmless goof who occasionally acts a little nutty. To wit:
You ran naked through a wheat field once because the wheat told you to. You’d rather have a peanut butter and pickle sandwich than peanut butter and bacon. You ran for president because the wheat told you to. Ever since you accidentally won, the wheat won’t return your calls.
A lot of people can’t see the subtle distinction between “peanut butter and pickle” nuts and a 24/7 coconut. Try telling them you’re just nutty and they’ll say “Yeah, nutty as a seared rack of lamb with pistachio tapenade!”*
Until recently, your only response if called a nut was to scream “Am not!” Trouble is, if you speak too quickly or with a mouthful of tapenade, it sounds like “Am nut!”
So, is it surprising that every year thousands of people avoid a mental health emissions test for fear of being branded a nut (N)? This, even though research shows that fewer than 493 in a thousand “Nuts” (Ns) are totally nuts.
That’s why one of the most important advances in mental health in recent years has been the diagnosis of “Half-Nuts” (HN). What is the difference between N and HN? It may sound simple, almost silly in fact, but it’s the letter H.
Under the new HN diagnosis, if you are called a nut you can respond triumphantly “You’re only half-right,” or “I’m half not-nuts.” Some HNs even fall back on the old reliable “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you finger-sniffing loser.”
One caution: There’s been an alarming tendency in the Shrink Wrap community to carelessly refer to HNs (HNs) as “Sorta Kinda Nuts.” (SKNs). This can cause humiliation and great anxiety among pre-Ns which is a clear symptom of early onset peanut brittle.
In connection with this, I’ve remembered something I learned in seventh grade when Sister St. Fistus introduced us to the German geologist, Friedrich Mohs. In 1812 Mohs devised a system for rating the manliness of the world’s minerals. Thus, in Mohs Scale of Hardness, talc, the pussy, sits at the very bottom, while at the top — and still harder than a nun’s noogie — sits the diamond.
Sister St. Fistus had a special Mohs kit that contained a sample of each mineral. She passed the box up and down the rows for us to gawk and fondle. By the time it got to me, the diamond was missing. Guess who got blamed?
Anyway, in honor of Mohs, who is now 237 years old and hard as feldspar, I have created a nut scale — from least to most — to help find your place on the spectrum of crunchy legumes.
McG’s Scale of Nutness™
1. Am Nut
4. Tony chestnut
5. Beer Nuts
7. Trout almondine
10. Totally nuts
11. Kung Pao Chicken with peanuts
*True fact: Pistachios are one of only two nuts mentioned in the Bible. The other is Ed the Baptist who filled in for John the Baptist on weekends at the Jordan River. Baptizees complained that when they dunked their head in the river, Ed insisted on holding their nose, sometimes tweaking it or just refusing to let go. On the upside, everyone baptized by Ed got a souvenir duck carved out of soap, prompting the Bible’s only reference to an acronym: WTD?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.