To the loyal customers of Planter’s Peanuts:
Recently facts about my past and heritage have come to light, and rather than let the rumor mill run its course I’ve decided to address them head-on. My name is Mr. Peanut. Yes, that Mr. Peanut. And after taking a 23andMe DNA test, I have discovered that I am part Cashew.
I have always kept my past silent, and my private life private. For years you’ve trusted me as the man/peanut hybrid who came from uncertain origins and loved one thing and one thing alone: selling Planter’s Peanuts. I never intentionally lied to anybody. These 23andMe results surprised me even more than they surprised you. So I have decided to come forward and tell my story.
I was raised to believe that my story was a traditional one, steeped in Americana, but not without its drama. In college, my mother, a young medical student from a family of means, met my father, an unshelled peanut, at a local minor league ballgame. One thing led to another, my mom had sex with a peanut, and nine months later I was born.
From my father, I got my salty attitude. From my mother, I got my will to succeed, and also my arms and legs.
It was a shotgun wedding. One born of passion and love. But soon the sweetness began to boil, and the Peanut family became brittle.
My mother and father were not great at communicating. My father, in particular, remained silent throughout my childhood. Whether that was due to an unknown past trauma or the fact that he didn’t have a mouth because he was a peanut remains unclear, but one thing is true: he was a tough nut to crack. Not literally. He was a legume.
To save the marriage they tried to have another child but had trouble conceiving. By all respects I was lucky to be alive. Some doctors claimed I was a statistic miracle, others called me an affront to God. But regardless, a sibling seemed out of the question. So they adopted a young boy, only to find out he was allergic to my father. My brother and I remain close, not in proximity but in spirit, as I might shut down his esophagus.
A few years later, my father passed. What happened to him is still an open case. Some claim it was too much and my mother murdered him. Others claim it was all just an unfortunate sandwich accident. No charges were pressed, as there wasn’t enough evidence and most cops kept saying: “Ma’am you ate a peanut you don’t need to call 9-1-1.”
I thought that was my whole story, that is until I received my 23andMe results. I could not ask my mother about my origins, as she passed a few years back, taking her secrets to the grave. But I found a distant cousin, and got the full story.
My mother never met my father at a ballgame. That was a lie, a story they told me to normalize me. No, they were both members of a farming commune and hippy cult. A self-sustaining life of free food, and free love. And for my mother a combination of the two.
My mother, I was told, was a wild spirit. Always wanting more. On one night, the night of my conception, she was left wanting. She tried to sate herself by making love to a handful of almonds. But nobody is satisfied after just a handful of almonds. And then she found the mixed nuts. It was a veritable orgy of passion and protein, and the Brazil nuts, I was told, were nutting all over the place.
Two weeks later she found out she was pregnant… by two fathers: a peanut and a cashew. At first this didn’t make sense to me from a science perspective but then I remembered I’m a walking and talking peanut, so I let it go. The cashew and the peanut fought over my mother’s love, but the cashew, ironically, had no money. And my father escaped with my mother, leaving my cashew heritage behind, never to be brought up again, until today.
I never meant to tell a lie, but I hope you can forgive me now that my truth is finally out. And also out: Planter’s Cashews! I’m the mascot for them! I can do that now!