Chiang Saen, Thailand 10 Dec 11
Odometer 72,975 m 117,443 km

Under cloak of darkness, as I slept nearby unalarmed, my cache was quietly discovered. Never mind that I took "adequate" precautions the night before. In spite of it being wrapped in plastic, dropped in a nylon stuff-sack and hung from a tree, its perimeter defenses were breached. Retrieving my glasses in the dim morning light, the blurry situation fell into focus: hundreds--possibly thousands--had already amassed for the taking. My sandwich had not long to live.

Early arrivals were already plundering the bounty, with a steady stream of reinforcements en route to the battlefield. At stake, perhaps the only peanut butter and jelly sandwich this side of the International Dateline. I had to act fast.
I learned during my travels through Central and South America that the great North American mainstay, the pillar on which our society was built, perhaps the finest spread to ever grace a slab of bread--was pretty much a Yankee obsession.

"But the Incas domesticated peanut plants long before the 'New World' was even a twinkle in Columbus's eye," I insisted to the shopkeeper in Cusco,

She rolled her eyes and dispassionately mumbled in Spanish, "But turning them into butter is a
gringo thing."

Well, this
gringo is hungry. And the nearest resupply of my favorite foodstuff is hundreds of miles away at a grocery importer who charges an arm and a leg for such luxuries shipped in from the United States. No way was I going to sit idly by and let this or any other army come and steal my women and children, err, peanut butter and jelly. This sandwich was my last, and they were going to have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

A crack team of Special Forces quickly followed their army's Scouts. Their job was to get inside, disassemble the loot, and prepare it for transport back to the mound. Legions of pack-mules stood by in rapt anticipation of the haul. With nary a sound, these stealth bombers of the animal world can obliterate your lunch before you even know it's missing.

I couldn't let that happen. I was headed off the grid where you're lucky to scare up a cold bowl of sticky rice, in a pinch. This sandwich was my lifeblood, and they drew
first blood! It was time to rip off my shirt, reveal my 6-pack abs, don my headband, and muster my inner-Rambo.

"Alright, you little monsters," I bellowed with bravado, "somebody has gone and bitten off a little more than they can chew!" And with that, I commenced my counter-attack.
By this time they had whittled their way into nearly every nook and cranny. I brushed off as many as I could, but some of the hold-outs were so deeply ingrained in the sticky amalgam that my four-day-old sandwich had become, it gave new meaning to the term "whole grain."

As I hurled the sandwich through the air to try and shoosh the Special Forces from their perch, the Workers joined in the fray. Nipping and chomping at my bare toes, they weren't going down without a fight. I whizzed them all around as I spun like a human centrifuge, not one of us willing to release our death grip.

Dancing and prancing to keep the Workers at bay, I finally succeeded in flinging a few Special Forces airborne. But they train for this. They employed their parachute roll and stumbled right back into the fight.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch," I taunted. "Why don't you guys get a job!" More freeloaders piled on.

Faced with overwhelming force, it was now maybe 20,000,000 to 1, it was time for drastic action. Clearly, these guys were battle-hardened, and they weren't about to just let me ride off with what they now considered
their booty. They were about to have my lunch and eat it, too. Unless, that is, I acted first.

So, in a fit of if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I bellied up, opened wide--
and ate them--lock, stock and antennae. It might have been the world's first PBJ & A.

Extra Crunchy, the jar label had promised, and that they were.

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