Earlier this month, in a story memorably and disturbingly headlined “Obama After Dark,” the New York Times talked about all the reading the president does after everybody else goes to bed. Besides firmly cementing him as a huge nerd, it made him come across as dietarily uptight to the point of parody, eating just “seven lightly salted almonds” as an indulgent snack.

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The NYT piece revealed that Obama doesn’t even drink soda, for God’s sake, according to Sam Kass, the Obamas’ former personal chef:

To stay awake, the president does not turn to caffeine. He rarely drinks coffee or tea, and more often has a bottle of water next to him than a soda. His friends say his only snack at night is seven lightly salted almonds.

“Michelle and I would always joke: Not six. Not eight,” Mr. Kass said. “Always seven almonds.”

Not true, the president said, a little defensively, in a bombshell interview with the Today show that aired Thursday:

He explained that no, it was a joke, you dorks:

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“All my friends were calling me up and saying this seems a little anal, this is a little weird, and I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke,’’ Obama said.

When his presidency is all wrapped up, Obama will be free to splurge on 10 and perhaps even 11 almonds in one night.

“Absolutely,’’ he joked. “But you know, almonds are a good snack, though. I strongly recommend them.”

He added: “I am so glad I had this opportunity,” to address Almondgate. “Because this has been really weighing on me.”

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It’s nice to take a ten-second break from worrying about a spray-tanned maniac who’s inadvertently going to blow up the world and think about a relatively decent president and his almonds, isn’t it?