Case File: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam

Elise Economou, Contributing Writer

I was sitting in my modest Boston office, smoking a Marlboro Light, when a tough-looking dame in a bucket hat sashayed into the room. The doll sat down and proceeded to tell me the most amazing tale: in a high school over in Cambridge, there were altercations breaking out over a simple PB&J sandwich. I nearly spit out my whiskey in surprise. She wanted me to look into the source. I explained that this seemed above my pay grade, but she offered me a fat check for the job and “expenses.” So I slipped on my Converse, threw away my cigs, and went deep undercover at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School to check out this situation. 

Sticking out like a sore thumb, I nonetheless trawled the lunches of CRLS, searching for someone noshing on a PB&J. The red-bricked cafeteria was teeming with cool cats, heavys, and greaseballs. I sat down at a table and introduced myself as “Marlowe” and received a couple strange looks, so I left. Then I stumbled upon Martin Armstrong, a junior, who, when asked for his opinion on the sandwich, remarked, “Who had peanut butter and was like, ‘You know what this needs? Fruit.’” Although this welcome wasn’t very warm, Giselle Korn, a senior, was all fired up about the debate. “Peanut butter is so boring!” She said, holding a jar of Smuckers Raspberry Jam. “Jelly has so many more flavors and more opportunities for variety.” She then tried to ply me with a complimentary jelly sample. I declined. 

No one was in the smaller “Media Cafeteria,” so I lurked around the stairwells and hallways of CRLS. Bianca Pereira, a freshman city slicker, slunk out of a doorway and whispered “I love it when [peanut butter] sticks in my mouth.” Word seemed to have gotten out about my little mission. I wonder who ratted. I was led to Maegan Fischer, a junior, by trailing the scent of peanut butter to an ‘Arts Building’ hallway. “If you have too much peanut butter then you’re just like [smacking noises] … that’s why you need the jelly or jam as a lubricant.” She said, daintily consuming a PB&J. The word “lubricant” ticked me off, but the rest of the scene was normal. Her lunchmates were quiet as statues, scrutinizing my every move with the utmost caution. It was obvious I wasn’t gonna get any more information in this dim hallway, so I pressed on.  

See, to me this whole thing smelled fishy. Or peanut butter-y. Suddenly, it hit me: this fight was some sort of misconstrued marketing stunt by Big Peanut Butter, or my name isn’t, Harvey “Solve em” Marlowe! A lot of suspicious characters denied any involvement in this peanut butter mess, but I kept looking. And I stumbled upon something surprising: all the Boston peanut butter companies had visited CRLS in the last month. This would certainly explain the whole rivalry. But what about Big Jelly? Well, my payment didn’t cover that investigation. The case seemed closed to me. I called the dame who started this whole snafu back and told her that my findings were inconclusive. I charged her another $30 for transportation and lit up a cig.