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Boyfriend Unaware of Deadly Peanut Allergy (Update)
AP ^ | November 30, 2005 | PHIL COUVRETTE

Posted on 11/30/2005 5:40:53 PM PST by jdm

Thinking she was having an asthma attack, Christina Desforges burst into a friend's room and woke him in a desperate search for medicine.

Friends called an ambulance as her breathing grew labored, but Desforges collapsed a moment after she stepped outside. She died four days later.

It quickly became clear the 15-year-old girl succumbed to a peanut allergy _ not from nuts she ate, but a peanut-butter sandwich her boyfriend had consumed before kissing her that day.

A friend of the couple said in a television interview that Desforges' boyfriend and other companions had no idea she was allergic to peanuts. An allergist said Wednesday that the teenager's friends and relatives should have been warned about her condition.

"Some people have an extremely low threshold," said Dr. Rhoda Kagan, an allergist at Montreal Children's Hospital. "This varies greatly from person to person and is highly unpredictable."

She called Desforges's case "very rare and worrisome."

One friend, Michael St. Gelais, said he was devastated by the case.

"I felt guilty at first because if I had realized earlier she was (allergic), we could probably have saved her," he said in an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "However, we did as much as we could and I don't think there was more we could have done."

Desforges, who lived in Saguenay, about 155 miles north of Quebec City, was almost immediately given a shot of adrenaline, a standard tool for treating anaphylactic shock brought on by an allergy to peanuts. But she died Nov. 23 at a Quebec hospital.

Symptoms of peanut allergies can include hives, plunging blood pressure and swelling of the face and throat, which can block breathing.

"There are several images stuck in my mind," St. Gelais said. "We went upstairs because she really was having more difficulty breathing. The minute we went outside, she collapsed."

A memorial was held Saturday and an autopsy was being performed Wednesday.

Desforges mother declined to talk to The Associated Press.

About 1.5 million Americans are severely allergic to even the smallest trace of peanuts, and peanut allergies account for 50 to 100 deaths in the United States each year.

Peanut allergies have been rising in recent decades. The reason remains unclear, but one study found that baby creams or lotions with peanut oil may cause children to develop allergies later in life.


TOPICS: Canada; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: allergies; anaphylacticshock; cartersfault; death; foodallergies; kissofdeath; peanutallergy; peanutbutter; peanuts
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1 posted on 11/30/2005 5:40:54 PM PST by jdm
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To: jdm

I find that kind of strange. Maybe csi should look into that.


2 posted on 11/30/2005 5:44:08 PM PST by Perdogg ("Facts are stupid things." - President Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: jdm

That's a heck of a thing for the boyfriend to live with.


3 posted on 11/30/2005 5:44:15 PM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: jdm
Sad.

But at least it wasn't due to licking some envelopes.

4 posted on 11/30/2005 5:44:17 PM PST by b4its2late (If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?)
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To: jdm

Wow. Things like this always remind me to be thankful for having normal health. I'm not allergic to anything. It's hard to imagine dying from peanut butter.


5 posted on 11/30/2005 5:47:13 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: jdm
This kind of freaks me out. My little one is allergic to peanuts. There is no way to tell how allergic they are, until they are exposed.
6 posted on 11/30/2005 5:48:19 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: b4its2late
If Santa doesn't bring me seasons 5 & 6 with a replica of the Puffy Shirt, next year's Airing of Grievances could take several days.
7 posted on 11/30/2005 5:49:21 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: jdm

I don't get this. This was unheard of years ago.

When did it start,and why?

It's a puzzlement.


8 posted on 11/30/2005 5:49:26 PM PST by Mears (The Killer Queen)
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To: cripplecreek

This story brought back some bad memories to me. I once kissed my wife after I ate some shrimp. A few hours later, her lips were swollen and she was breaking out in hives. What I didn't know at the time was that she had a number of allergies. Shellfish and peanuts are just two of them. Now, I have to brush my teeth and use mouthwash before I kiss her after eating shellfish and peanut products. Take it from me, these allergies are NOT to be toyed with. They are very real and deadly. I was luckier than this guy was. I feel for him for what he is and will be going through because of this unfortunate event.


9 posted on 11/30/2005 5:55:29 PM PST by NCC-1701 (RADICAL ISLAM IS A CULT. IT MUST BE ERADICATED ASAP)
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To: Mears

It's Jimmy Carter's fault.


10 posted on 11/30/2005 5:56:42 PM PST by gas0linealley
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To: jdm

i dunno. i just feel really skeptical about this. i feel very BAD about my skepticism, but something just doesn't feel right. DON"T YELL AT ME!!! I CAN'T HELP BEING CYNICAL ANYMORE.


11 posted on 11/30/2005 6:01:45 PM PST by wildwood
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To: Mears

Because years ago these people all died as babies for unknown reasons.


12 posted on 11/30/2005 6:07:16 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: teenyelliott

My childhood friend has the peanut allergy, and all I can tell you is go and be that pushy overprotective, intrudingly obnoxious parent who gets to know every ingredient in school cafeterias and demands peanuts be taken out of the school menu.

The memories of the two times, several years apart, that he had an allergic reaction right in front of me, are scarred into my memory. The first time he almost died because his mother hadn't added the peanut allergy to his medical sheet yet that year, it was the first day of school, and the nurse didn't know what was wrong with him. Stay on top of it, inform everyone you know.


13 posted on 11/30/2005 6:10:59 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: Rodney King

Well the baby-boomer generation didn't have the peanut allergies and not many died young either.I don't know one who did.

I just don't understand what changed.Not looking for an argument here--I just don't get it.


14 posted on 11/30/2005 6:12:02 PM PST by Mears (The Killer Queen)
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To: JerseyHighlander
No. I respectfully disagree. We can't peanut sanitize the world. Those that just can't eat peanut butter, must learn to deal with it. Those that can not even be around it need to be in a safer environment.
15 posted on 11/30/2005 6:21:36 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: teenyelliott
Buy him one of those stainless medical alert bracelet's. Now I think I'll go eat some peanut's.
16 posted on 11/30/2005 6:21:43 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: Prodigal Son
I'm not allergic to anything.

According to an allergist I saw on TV over the weekend, one can be allergy free, then in a later stage of life, develop an allergy. Yikes!

17 posted on 11/30/2005 6:23:57 PM PST by Salvey (ancest)
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To: jdm
Does anyone remember peanut allergy scares in the 60's ... or 70's ... or 80's? Seems to me this is a relatively new thing.
18 posted on 11/30/2005 6:24:35 PM PST by manwiththehands (Democrats and the MSM: lies and hypocrisy on steroids)
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To: Mears
I don't get it, either. No one in my family has ever had ANY kind of allergy, let alone some kind of crazy deadly food allergy.

But I found out the hard way, when I got my very first ambulance ride to the hospital with my one year old baby.

And I am the LAST one to buy into all of these new fangled syndromes and diseases. I wish someone would figure out the cause, cause now I have to carry around epinephrine everywhere we go, in case my kid tries to die on me. Nice, huh?

Imagine . . .school lunches, birthday party snacks, trick or treating, any little slip could kill her.

I still obviously don't deal with it well.

19 posted on 11/30/2005 6:24:58 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: teenyelliott

What is she allergic to?


20 posted on 11/30/2005 6:25:58 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: CindyDawg
It's nice that you are so empathetic, but it is not just peanut butter. It is anything made out of peanuts, or made/fried in peanut oil, sometimes even anything that has come in contact with peanut dust in a factory.

Do you have any idea how many things you eat every day are made in factories that also make other products that may contain peanuts?

How would you feel if as a mother you cannot check every single thing your child eats? And if you don't, your kid might die?

21 posted on 11/30/2005 6:28:36 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: manwiththehands

Glenn Beck had a caller on yesterdays show, Tues, who said he knew why this is a problem now, Our local station does not carry the final 1/2 hour of his show...Did anyone hear the explaination??????/


22 posted on 11/30/2005 6:30:30 PM PST by codder too
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To: org.whodat
Oh, I will. Right now she is only 2 1/2, so I can be with her all the time.

And it doubly sucks, cause I love peanuts! Can't have em anywhere in the house. I have to scarf down an occasional Reeces when I am out and about, just to get my fix.

23 posted on 11/30/2005 6:31:01 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: CindyDawg
Peanuts.

Obviously, the older she gets the more she can watch out for it, too. But there are so many varying degrees of this allergy, and you never know how badly your kid is going to react to any given exposure.

24 posted on 11/30/2005 6:32:58 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: jdm

My dyslexia saw that as deadly peanut gallery!


25 posted on 11/30/2005 6:32:59 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: jdm
WE didn't find out till our son was 16 he was extremely allergic to the Brazil Nut. He nearly died with that reaction.

Now, he could eat peanuts, so one day he picked some peanuts out of a can of "mixed nuts" and went into an immediate reaction AGAIN. The Doctor said that just a tiny bit of the oil residue from the Brazil nut got on the peanuts and that's all it took. He was deathly ill for days, without even ingesting the nut itself.

It's very scary, people.

sw

26 posted on 11/30/2005 6:34:28 PM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: JerseyHighlander

My son is also allergic to peanuts.

I would never demand that peanuts be taken out of the school menu--I would pack the child's lunch and snacks each and every day and be sure he/she has an Epi pen handy. What's wrong with this person, too lazy to pack a lunch?

People who seek to change things to benefit their own extremely small minority are positively despicable. Think Michael Newdow.


27 posted on 11/30/2005 6:35:32 PM PST by GatorGirl
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To: Mears
I think a few studies have shown that babies who get their milk the old fashion way have less problems with allergies of some types.
28 posted on 11/30/2005 6:37:05 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: teenyelliott

I would be scared, just like you and praying for her. I would do it anyway, but I would homeschool her. My comment wasn't made, non caring. It's just that she can't be kept completely away from them in society.


29 posted on 11/30/2005 6:38:20 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: NCC-1701

You were lucky you didn't have to rely on a 15 year old and the canadian healthcare system. Those two factors are not insignificant.


30 posted on 11/30/2005 6:42:45 PM PST by Shanty Shaker (IT WAS BECAUSE IT WAS)
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To: CindyDawg
Oh, I know, and I apologize for being abrupt.

The whole thing just baffles me, and I have considered home schooling her. Haven't made up my mind yet.

It is just soooo scary. Her first reaction, I thought my heart was going to explode. I literally thought I was holding my baby while she was dying. Terrible. And I am told with each exposure, the reaction gets worse.

31 posted on 11/30/2005 6:43:58 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: GatorGirl
I would never demand that peanuts be taken out of the school menu--I would pack the child's lunch and snacks each and every day and be sure he/she has an Epi pen handy.

I'm with you on that one. My youngest daughter is allergic to peanuts.

32 posted on 11/30/2005 6:46:00 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: Mears; jdm
I don't get this. This was unheard of years ago.

Well the baby-boomer generation didn't have the peanut allergies and not many died young either.I don't know one who did.

This is such a tragic story. It is true that some kids just died years ago and and no one understood why. But it is also true that 50 years ago (the boomers) childhood deaths became the rare exception at the same time that the medical community finally got a handle on diagnosing and treating allergies. But that was at the same time that Cracker Jacks and other peanut products became every-day items across the land and not rare treats that many would never be exposed to, yet these kind of allergies were virtually unheard of then.

Something isn't "what it used to be" with this peanut stuff. It's no longer a one in a million thing, and the increases do not seem to be a result of better diagnostics and record keeping.

Is it the peanuts we produce today versus 50 years ago, the more frequent exposure, or the people we produce that has changed?

We need to find out.

33 posted on 11/30/2005 6:48:16 PM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: teenyelliott

Good luck.

I've kept mine alive for nine years. :-) He is at the point where he can self-monitor, although I am still sure to notify other parents at parties or sleepovers so they can be sure not to use peanuts as an ingredient. He has a reaction if he ingests peanuts, but not if he just smells it so we're lucky. He also does not seem to be allergic to peanut oil.

Beware of Chick Fil-A. They cook in peanut oil. Also, chinese food is often cooked in peanut oil. It's really not so hard to eliminate it from your child's diet once you get used to it.


34 posted on 11/30/2005 6:54:42 PM PST by GatorGirl
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To: org.whodat

Unfortunately, my 100% naturally fed baby did develop allergies (peanuts and milk). One theory is that he was exposed to the proteins of those substances in my milk.

Everything is pretty much theoretical at this point when it comes to allergies, however!!!


35 posted on 11/30/2005 6:57:25 PM PST by GatorGirl
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To: GatorGirl
I used to use nothing but peanut oil to cook with, and I love peanut sauces and things like that. At this point she does not seem to be one of the touch it and die variety, so I feel a little more comfortable with it.

I have heard from some doctors that if it is a mild allergy, they can sometimes outgrow it. Others say peanut allergy is the one allergy that cannot be outgrown.

Who knows. I do know I am NOT gonna be one of those kid in a bubble moms. I have let her eat some candy that said "made in a factory that also processes peanuts", and that caused her no problem. So, on Thanksgiving hubby always fries a turkey, and you have to use peanut oil in those fryers.

Well, my mother, of all people, gave some to my little girl. No reaction. Hmmmm.

So, I am hoping she has a very mild case, and maybe will outgrow it if that is possible.

How did you find out your son was allergic, and have you ever had the actual allergy tests done?

36 posted on 11/30/2005 7:11:40 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: teenyelliott

Jeez, it's already hard enough to get a girl to kiss me. Now, they have the peanut butter excuse, too.


37 posted on 11/30/2005 7:12:47 PM PST by Firefox1
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To: everyone

What has changed? - actually it's more like what has been addded!

Immunizations - with built-in allergies -- the drug mfg's dream come true. Guaranteed consumers!

Trust me on this, I am a certified bio-med tech.


38 posted on 11/30/2005 7:16:12 PM PST by toneythetiger
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To: jdm

So, why didn't the adrenaline stop the allergic response?

I went into anaphalactic shock once, and that's what they gave me.


39 posted on 11/30/2005 7:20:04 PM PST by Eva
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To: teenyelliott

My neice, has an allergy to milk. It is as bad as peanuts because so many things are made with milk.


40 posted on 11/30/2005 7:22:16 PM PST by EmilyGeiger
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To: teenyelliott

No tests, just a severe reaction when he was around one after he ate a cracker with just a little dab of peanut butter a well-meaning store lady gave him (with my permission--who knew?).

He ate a peanut again when he was about two at a Gators v. Noles football party, just picked it up and popped it in. The hostess felt terrible--she had meant to pick up the peanut dishes when we arrived.

The third time was at preschool when he was around four. A parent who hadn't read the allergy list at school gave him a peanut butter cookie--I got a frantic, freaking out call from school.

All three times, people were very apologetic but I'm sanguine--I try Benadryl first before popping him with the EpiPen!

My son can actually eat the fried turkey and Chick Fil A so he's not one of the severe cases, either. I, too, have heard both--it stays with you vs. you outgrow it. Who knows, I'm certainly not going to make him eat a peanut butter sandwich to test it!!

It drives my mother in law crazy--she is dying to test him but I just look at her like she's insane and she backs off. She does go out of her way to tell him how delicious peanut butter is, however! I guess he can be tested but by now he'd probably hate the stuff anyway.

Some of my favorite cookies are what we call "Peanut Butter Kisses". Peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's kiss pressed in after they are baked. I still make them but I'm sure to make his favorite cookie as well. I do know that he is not allergic to pecans, as he has eaten a cookie containing pecans (by accident the first time). I generally keep him away from all nuts, just in case.

He is also allergic to milk. He can't drink it--it gives him a rash and makes him act terrible, but I can use it in baking and cooking without a problem, and he can even have cereal with some milk, as long as he doesn't drink the leftovers. When he was little I used Rice Dream, which was a good substitute.




41 posted on 11/30/2005 7:23:05 PM PST by GatorGirl
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To: NCC-1701
Desforges mother declined to talk to The Associated Press.

I'm sure the mother is not only in shock, but devastated. Obviously her daughter's doctor didn't emphasize enough, the dangers of this lethal allergy, or everyone would have been alerted.... Very, very sad situation.

Another great example of Canadian medicine that WE DON'T WANT!

42 posted on 11/30/2005 7:24:05 PM PST by demkicker
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To: Eva

Sounds like she collapsed well before receiving medical attention.

She probably died of suffocation when from the swelling of her airways before the epinephrine could help.


43 posted on 11/30/2005 7:25:30 PM PST by GatorGirl
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To: EmilyGeiger

Does a milk allergy kill a person? I thought it just made them sick.


44 posted on 11/30/2005 7:29:36 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: teenyelliott

We've had this argument in my county. Some want the schools to ban peanut butter and ban all students from bringing peanut edibles to school.

I say such a policy would be a diservice to the peanut allergy kids because it would give them the false impression that their world is a safe place, when the reality is that it is a deadly world and they have to be on guard everyday for the rest of their lives.


45 posted on 11/30/2005 7:30:27 PM PST by Rebelbase (Food stamps, section-8, State paid Child support, etc. pay more than the min. wage.)
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To: toneythetiger
Immunizations - with built-in allergies

What are you saying?

46 posted on 11/30/2005 7:30:33 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: toneythetiger
What has changed? - actually it's more like what has been addded!

Immunizations - with built-in allergies -- the drug mfg's dream come true. Guaranteed consumers!

Trust me on this, I am a certified bio-med tech.

Yeah, but you also signed up tomorrow...

47 posted on 11/30/2005 7:35:15 PM PST by xjcsa (The Kyoto Protocol is about as futile as sending seven maids with seven mops to rid a beach of sand)
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To: teenyelliott

How did you find out that your little one was allergic?


48 posted on 11/30/2005 7:35:56 PM PST by Hildy
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To: teenyelliott

How did you find out that your little one was allergic?


49 posted on 11/30/2005 7:35:56 PM PST by Hildy
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To: GatorGirl
I try Benadryl first before popping him with the EpiPen

Me, too.

Of course, my kids have always snacked on Cheerios as babies, and this kid always had honey nut Cheerios. So I know she is not allergic to tree nuts, even though they still make me nervous for some retarded reason.

We had gone to South Carolina on a trip, and my FIL loves those little debbie things that are wafers and peanut butter dipped in chocolate. My daughter, who was one at the time, had been eating bites of these things the whole time we were there.

We brought a box home with us (long car trip), and the very next time she ate one she just went into serious allergic reaction mode. I absolutely freaked out, as she was so tiny, and soooo sick, and I had never seen such a thing.

Her doc told me that with the first exposure, the body is alerted to the allergy. The next exposure can be as mild as a torso rash that you may not notice, depending on the severity of the allergy. But it gets worse with every exposure. As a result, he knew of NO doctors who would test my kid, as in order to do so they have to expose them, running the risk of killing them just to find out!

So tell your MIL to take that and smoke it!

She does go out of her way to tell him how delicious peanut butter is, however!

And that is just mean. What is her problem?

50 posted on 11/30/2005 7:42:21 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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