The Peanut Plant

The Field Museum’s exhibit Plants of the World features seemingly life-like vegetation, but they are actually models. As the title implies, this exhibit tries to cover all manners of species in the Plant Kingdom. This post covers only one example from this exhibit. The peanut plant differs from most legumes, because it pushes its young seed pods underground, where they mature. The pods dry and are called shells. The seeds or peanuts are also referred to as goobers.

Me: I didn’t know that peanuts grew underground.
Anne: You are such a goober.

And Anne is supposed to be the nice person. In her defense, as a teacher, she deals with goobers on a daily basis. For example, she was teaching a lesson on the fossil record. In this lesson students are given baggies that contain one inch square clippings from a novel. The students are then asked to draw conclusions from the clues that they can read. If the top of a page is present, then the title may be guessed. Maybe, some character names can be perceived, but never the story’s plot. This is what archeologists face, torn pages that don’t tell the whole story. At this point a student who had been sleeping at the back of the class peeped up with, “Did you say porn pages?” [laughter] Anne, “Now, I know how to get your attention.” What a goober. Takes one to know one.

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