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Mr Peanut (MD)

25 October 2014 | Diary

A few weeks ago, in downtown Montreal, we noticed a large truck emblazoned with the festive colours and corporate iconography of Planters Nuts.

I wouldn’t like to describe it here as “a truckload of peanuts” because I have no idea. For all I know, there was just one single, highly pampered, peanut inside or maybe Planters were transporting office supplies to their workers in a truck that looked like it might contain peanuts. Perhaps the truck wasn’t anything to do with Planters at all and the friendly “Mr Peanut” logo was being used to disguise a far-darker cargo. Pringles perhaps. I don’t know. It’s something of a Schrödinger’s Peanut situation, and I think we’re getting off the point.

Look. The side of the truck displayed a picture of smiling Mr Peanut, who looks more and more like Clive Anderson with every redesign. And next to his beaming portrait were the words: MR. PEANUT (MD).

MD? I was at once delighted by the idea that Mr Peanut might be a Medical Doctor and angry at myself for not realising it before. Of course Mr Peanut was a medical doctor. It made complete and total sense.

Clearly, a successful medical practice is how he affords such fine accouterments: the top hat, the monocle, the ebony cane, the spats.

How else? You didn’t think he made his fortune as a peanut magnate did you? For crying out loud, he is a peanut. He’s hardly likely to sell his brothers and sisters to be rolled in salt and casually scoffed in pubs and airplanes. That would be downright sick.

Also, there are a lot of people out there who are deathly allergic to Mr Peanut and his kind. It must be very difficult for Mr Peanut to walk down the street or go to the cinema without making a lot of people nervous. At least this way, should his very presence accidentally trigger an anaphylactic shock in a passing stranger, he’s able to be useful and to make repairs.

“Is there a doctor in the house!?”

“Yes!”

In such a situation, Mr. Peanut is at once curse and cure. That’s what he keeps beneath the top hat: an EpiPen. He never leaves home without one.

My wife pointed out that the “MD” after his name was the French equivalent of “TM” in English. The MD was simply pointing out that Mr. Peanut is a registered trademark.

Oh!

Of course he wasn’t a medical doctor. He’s known far and wide as Mr. Peanut, not Dr. Peanut. Someone who wears a top hat and a monocle would never choose the more humble of those honorifics. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s not going around calling himself Dr. Prof. Rev. Peanut (MD) even without the medical degree.

I had been a fool. And my wife was laughing at me.

The strangest thing about all this is that, weeks later, part of me still thinks that Mr. Peanut is a medical doctor.

I saw some Planters Nuts in the supermarket today and something in me said “Mr. Peanut can write prescriptions.”

Even though it never made sense to begin with, and even after Samara filled me in on what the MD really signified, I’m still slave to my first, wholly mistaken, impression.

When I’m old and senile, I will almost certainly tell the nurses that Mr. Peanut is one of the finest doctors in the land and that might want to consult him about my quinapril doses.

This really could end badly. I myself have a peanut allergy. If I should ever have the misfortune to sit next to Mr. Peanut in the cinema, I’ll incorrectly assume he’ll be the one to help reduce the swelling.

Worst of all, nobody will shout “Is there a doctor in the house?!” because nobody else on the planet sees Mr. Peanut and thinks “Medical Doctor”.

And in the cinema specifically, they’re far more likely to be shouting “Down in Front!” because of his fucking top hat.

From now on, to be safe, I will only go to IMAX cinemas. They don’t tend to screen the kind of medical dramas that would attract Mr. Peanut and the 3D doesn’t work if you have a monocle.

mr-peanut

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