Papa George, Tuna

Canned Peaches

At what point in life do you start keeping canned peaches in the bathroom? And what does it mean?

a) Collecting canned goods is my hobby
b) I spend way too much time at the grocery store
c) Sometimes I crave peaches at the mostly unlikely of times
d) All of the above.

On a recent visit to Tuna, I opened the linen closet in my father-in-law’s bathroom expecting to find, oh I don’t know, a washcloth or a towel or maybe even a Q-Tip. But no. Out rolled a #10 can of peaches onto my foot.

Given that, I couldn’t resist the urge to snoop see what else might be lurking therein. Sure enough, there was a cache of Christmas presents dating back to 1998 (an impressive museum of Ronco gadgets, World’s Best Dad statues and soap on a rope) as well as a case of Allen’s green beans. It was like a little mini-convenience store. I almost expected to find a man named Apu and a Slurpee machine in the back.

In the same way that life is about the journey and not the destination, and as hunting is about the thrill of the chase and not the catch, Papa George, my father-in-law, is not so much about the procurement of edibles, but about the bargain. And ladies, you yourself know that when you find a bargain, the first thing you want to do is burn up the phone lines to spread the good news. Papa George is no different. Except that for him it’s about canned goods and not shoes.

AM: Hello.
PG: Kroger got purple hull peas on three for 39.
AM: Oh. Hi George. How ya doin’?
PG: Smithfield bone-in ham, 99 cents a pound.
AM: Oh me? I’m fine. My throat is a little sore. Thinking about seeing a doctor.
PG: Allen green beans, the big cans, 49, usually 69.
AM: Sean’s fine too. He’s at school today.
PG: Love ya. Bye.
AM: Love ya too Papa George. Bye.

It’s Papa George’s own sort of love language. If he’s not calling to give you the market report, he doesn’t like you that much.

But I digress. We were talking about peaches. It’s hard to imagine how one could wander off a topic as fascinating as that.

Yes. So then. In case there is a quiz later, the answers to the original questions.

From what I can surmise, the point in life at which one starts keeping peaches in the bathroom is about the same time the social security checks start rolling in. Now I know what you’re thinking – I would never keep peaches in my bathroom. Just wait until you get that AARP invitation before you start making judgements.

And what does it mean? I don’t know. But, it’s really convenient when you get a hankerin’ for peaches while taking a bubble bath.

36 thoughts on “Canned Peaches

  1. Not so fast with the assumptions, Youngin’. I admit to being older than dirt and having a bathroom linen closet to be envied. I have multiple rolls of paper towels, boxes of Kleenex, Cottenelle, boxes of Irish Spring, extra ScotchBrites, napkins, lightbulbs — just about anything you usually run out of. We might have people stay here when I am back at my condo in Ohio and God forbid that they might run out of something. But, I digress — when I was in my early twenties with three pre-schoolers we had a nuclear war scare and I started preparing for the worst. I filled the bathtub in the guest bathroom with canned goods of every catagory and pulled the shower curtain, so people couldn’t see my stash. I was so fearful that my children might be irradiated and hungry, too. I did not know that my pitiful preparations frightened my children (I mean, what would sane people have peaches in their bathtub for?) They are your age now and still associate pink bathroom fixtures with atomic war. Papa George, you are my kind of guy!

  2. Well, I happen to know that peaches make an excellent eyemask. You know, to reduce puffiness and minimize wrinkles. And they have that convenient eye hole already rounded out. That is, unless you went and bought the peach slices, instead of the halves. If you went for the slices, then you’re sc…..out of luck.

  3. oh my god, kacey!! when you were putting peaches in the bath tub i was in high school learning first aid so we could take care of the irradiated in the shelters. but only the ones not having babies, they tore that chapter out of the books. it seems that we were old enough to bind wounds, stitch up cuts, go to viet nam for that matter, but not to see a baby coming out because then we might find out where they came from! i can still see david rush standing in front of the biology lab ripping those chapters out of the booklets!

  4. Over on Parent Hacks, there’s a post about using fruit slime to slick your kids hair back. Maybe that’s what George is using the peaches for.

  5. That sounds just like my father-in-law! He is always telling me their grocery store’s sales when I am there. What am I supposed to do with the 99 cent ice cream if I buy it? We don’t live in the same town! So funny!

  6. I had to laugh at the case of Allen green beans. Well, laughed at all of it, but it was with recognition over the green beans. We stash cases of Allen green beans around our house, too, but we put them in a *logical* place like the laundry room. πŸ˜‰

  7. He, evidently, harkens to the time of long-distance by-the-minute, too. I’m assuming Tuna is long distance? Or maybe he’s just male… There’s that, too.

    My family are paper goods hoarders. Don’t know why we’ll need toilet paper when the Antiques have all the peaches and green beans, but we’ll have toilet paper!

  8. All I know is that my husband’s grandfather kept a bottle of castor oil with an aspirin in the bottom of it in his bathroom. I don’t even want to know what that was for.

    The phone dialogue is priceless. You better get on down to the market to take advantage of those savings.

  9. Oh, I love a good laugh first thing in the morning!

    Squirreling away stuff seems to be pretty common among Depression babies. And then, later, the “Duck and Cover” kids (of which I was one) from the nuclear war scare.

    Today’s version is the “Code Red” drill practiced in elementary schools in the event of a terrorist or a nut with a gun entering the building.

    What a crazy world… Makes peaches in the bathroom sound almost normal. πŸ™‚

  10. My grandfather is the king of supermarket sales. The man bought 100 lbs. of chicken breasts last year because they were on some incredible $.39 per lb. sale. He has also waited by the dumpsters behind the bread store to take all the loaves the “have” to throw away. And he shares, good heavens, he shares.

  11. That was funny. I can just picture that linen closet. We are toilet paper hoarders. In case of emergency, we may go hungry, but we will be able to wipe.

  12. Aw, the “Papa George” story made me smile…my grandfather is a BIG time hoarder of canned goods. As a kid (ok, even now) I love to go down to his basement and look on his shelves to find the OLDEST canned food I can find! There are some, I swear, from the 50’s down there! πŸ™‚ Keep hoarding those peaches, you never know when a freak snow storm might hit!! Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  13. Your post made me remember that when Mama and Daddy moved about a year and a half ago, she actually packed expired buttermilk in a cooler and moved it to the new house.

    The merchants of America will never get one over on the children of the Depression. They are a prepared people. We’ll all be scrounging up pennies when inflation skyrockets the price of canned goods and other grocery staples to obscene levels. But they’ll be happy as pigs in the mud, sitting in their bathrooms eating peaches and drinking expired buttermilk. Oh yes they will.

  14. I need a Papa George. He sounds like a handy guy to know.
    I’m a big canned food hoarder – we live in an area where it’s not unheard of to have extreme snow conditions and wisdom dictates that I always have a few days worth of canned food on hand.

  15. Okay–between your post and Boomama’s comment, I’m just way out of my league. . .I grew up with a Granny who was the eldest daughter of a depression era family and a PaPaw who was the eldest living son (big brother died at 12 in the flu epidemic) of a depression era family. . .and there were either canned peaches, canned pineapple, or canned pears (which Granny dressed up as “pear salad” by putting a dollop of Miracle Whip in the pear seed divit, then grating extra sharp cheddar on top) E-VER-EE DAY of my childhood. . .even the days I wasn’t at their house. And none of this water pack stuff–they were in heavy syrup–they would drive five miles out of town to bring us a can of fruit when we were home sick–probably because they only got fruit in the summer time when they were kids. . .

    Bless George’s heart–you have a treasure.

  16. AM, I’d pass on those peaches if I were you, especially if they are from ’98. It might have been a good year and all, but I’m thinking that the expiration date is there for a reason…

    Just looking out for my adopted sis. I don’t want to have to come down there to take care of you for ptomaine poisoning. I’d rather have to come take care of you by dicing onions, talking turkey and downing wine. So much better, don’t you think?

  17. I’m puzzled about what’s funny about canned peaches in the bathroom–makes total sense to me. I’m taking notes. Oh, and can I get Papa George’s phone number so we can compare price books? Don’t tell me he doesn’t have a price book. I know he does, you just haven’t found it yet. Try looking in the coat closet, next to the Aquafresh.

  18. I suppose it’s not any stranger than #10 cans of chocolate and vanilla pudding mix, which is what was under my bed for years. It was overflow from my mom’s stash and she asked me to hold on to it for awhile. Like I need 16 cans of pudding in case of emergency.

  19. In an emergency, the first thing I want is pudding, so that makes sense to me.

    Now then, dear readers, I should probably clarify that the peaches are not in the bathroom in case of an emergency. No. They are in the bathroom because the rest of the house is already occupied with bargain canned goods.

  20. We laugh now, oh, how we laugh. But what scares me is the thought of someday starting to do these things! Be careful what you eat at Papa George’s …

  21. My grandparents had closets full of canned goods, basement shelves lined with pickles (can someone please explain to me why pickles?), and cases of “soda pop” (long ago gone flat) stacked between the toliet and the shower in their “utiltiy bathroom” (as opposed to the bathroom reserved for guests).

    Why the soda was in the bathroom I will never understand. Seems to me the high humidity from the steam of a shower would not be good for the soda- compressed with carbonation and all. πŸ™‚

    But hey, when there’s a sale, who cares where you store it, just as long as you got the good deal, right? πŸ™‚

  22. my dad had a cousin who dearly loved coca-colas. she was terrified they would go out of business and she would never have another.that house was a sight to see, there were cases of cokes every where you looked. they were piled to the ceiling, under beds, in closets. they were in king sized deposit bottles. for the younger among you, you used to have to put a deposit on the bottles! she drank the ones that were bought weekly and kept in the kitchen! when she died they hauled over 200 cases of her beloved cokie-colas out of her house. if the great disaster had come she might not have had much to eat, but she could of lived on cokes for months!!

  23. Whe I worked as a buyer for a grocery warehouse I kept a #10 can of something (the labels has sense been worn off) under my desk to put my feet on. I find that the elevation was perfect for keeping the feet swelling to a minimum. I also knew some people that would take the labels off of ALL their cans of food and have a “surprise” for dinner. yum!

  24. I have so enjoyed reading all of these posts…and I can identify with them as well. My daughter and I repainted my mom’s kitchen several years ago and ended up placing somewhere around 50 large bottles of “New Coke” on top of the cabinets for decoration after scrubbing them in a big wash tub on the back porch. Of course, they had never been opened.
    My dad was a hoarder as well. The soft drinks and the toilet paper…but nothing could compare with the soap. He had drawers and sacks and boxes of soap. He was a minister and in one Sunday sermon he was quoting I Thess. 4:13, and instead of saying “we sorrow not as those who have no hope”…he said , “we sorrow not as those who have no soap.” My mom and I of course were trying to keep a straight face and failing miserably! It turns out that his mother made soap during the depression and sold it to have some money to send him while he was away in college(1934-38). So whenever soap was on sale…he bought it. My brother and I will have an inheritance of soap. Does soap have an expiration date??

  25. Carla, my daughter did that to me when she was a toddler. She opened the lazy susan cabinet, kept spinning and ripping labels off cans.
    We ate mystery foods for a while….wasn’t so funny at the time. I mean, a meal with beets, pork-n-beans and evaporated milk?!
    blech….(she also took all the tags off Christmas gifts one year so my big ol’ brother in law opened some cute thongs and a camisole…..he looked good in them!)
    But yeah…..and I am a hoarder to a degree. It is that danged AARP card they sent me last year, yes it is! However, I just have mine in plastic bags on the dining room floor. At least it is CLOSE to where one would actually eat, right?

  26. Aaawwwww!! I want Papa George to call me!! Okay – maybe he could just teach his method to my own version of PG (called Grampa Hey)? Cute story.

  27. I would have to say that my mother in law would agree that her husband does not know where the linen closet is, let alone take the initiative to stock it; that is woman’s work!!

    Hilarious! I forwarded to all the lovely women in my life.

  28. Haven’t read all the comments but peaches in the bathroom isn’t to far fetched to me as long as a can opener and spoon are there too. You see, my favorite doctor told me to sip one tablespooon of the juice of peaches in heavy syrup every fifteen minutes to help calm a stomach after throwing up. It worked like a charm through three pregnancies and has really works with my kids. Still, I keep my peaches in the pantry.

  29. My MaMa hoarded canned food, paper products, and old towels. Some of her towels and washcloths were like Swiss-cheese and you were not allowed to throw them out. They were still good! Flat worn out pillows were the best because fat new ones hurt her neck. Vacations were spent buying trays of canned goods that they grew up eating and didn’t have access to at home. Yes we received canned goods for souvenirs!

    Whenever I would call to check up on her and my PaPa, I would always have to have the best going price around on gas. He compared and searched for the best priced gas. He would sometimes drive 5 miles out of the way to save .02

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