Mr. Peanut – Behind The Monocle, Pain.

Mr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Peanut seems a likable guy. Maybe it is the constant smile. Sometimes I think it is the monocle. Perhaps it is the attitude that lets him roam the streets in nothing but a top hat, gloves and spats as if to say “here’s what I’ve got and I’m not ashamed.”

It is hard to say what exactly it is about him that has endeared him to us all over the years. Charm is indefinable sometimes, isn’t it?

Sometimes charm and a perpetual smile hide something. A secret something that causes pain and fear. Though none of us want to think about Mr. Peanut suffering, I must tell you that I see pain behind the monocle.

Mr. Peanut’s Body Has A Flaw

I’m not throwing stones. Everyone’s body has a flaw. I am not excepted from that. Some flaws aren’t attractive, some flaws are not healthy. Mr. Peanut’s flaw is dangerous to him and to those around him.

Mr. Peanut, Shaking And Baking. (image via

Mr. Peanut has no waist.

He’s got ankles, knees and hips. No waist. The shape of his shellbody gives the appearance of a waist (oddly combined with neck and shoulders), but that term implies a measure of flexibility that Mr. Peanut lacks. That lack of flexibility is the potentially fatal flaw that Mr. Peanut lives with.

Sure, Mr. Peanut is mobile. He dances, he plays basketball and does so many other things. He participates in these activities at his own peril. Should he lose his balance, his lack of a waist makes him unable to get up without assistance. A fall could cost him his life.

Consider The Turtle

Turtle in the backyard of a Florida Resident.

Our example, on a better day (Image via Wikipedia)

A turtle flipped on his back is in trouble. He can’t get away from predators and his defenses are weak. He is powerless to get back on his feet without help. He’ll kick his feet desperately to try to get back to right side up, but the odds are against him.

Mr. Peanut is like our turtle. Once off his feet, he is helpless. His lack of a flexible waist makes it impossible for him to get off the ground without someone’s help.

If you fell and were lying on your back, your waist and hips would let you move to a sitting position and get up from there. Mr. Peanut couldn’t do that. Sitting up by using just his hips would be impossible.

Mr. Peanut’s other option to get up off the ground would be to roll over, get on all fours, as if to crawl. From there, he could move his foot up and raise his body upright just like we’d do, right?

Mr Peanut Goes to War!

Mr Peanut Goes to War! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, actually. The length of his torso combined with its circumference make that feat impossible. As he moved his leg forward to get up, the length and thickness of his body would cause his hands to come off the ground before his foot would be in position to start supporting his weight. Even if he were able to get his leg under him, he’d be raising his disproportionately long body using just his hips – not a particularly strong point of his physique.

How You Can Help

When Mr. Peanut falls, he has two options. He can crawl until he finds help or he can flail wildly with his cane and hope to make enough noise that a sympathetic someone discovers his plight. If you become that someone, remember that communication is critical if you’re going to help.

If Mr. Peanut is crawling, he has a limited range of motion in his neck and wont be able to lift his head to see where he is going. He might even crawl into you before he realizes you are there. On his back, he’ll probably be blinded by panic and swinging his cane. Take control of the situation using your voice.

Mr. Peanut, I am here to help…! (image via wikimedia)

This is important – do not approach Mr. Peanut after he has taken a fall until he responds to your voice. He will be frightened, feeling vulnerable and is likely to lash out with his cane without warning. You can’t help him if you allow him to injure you during your noble attempt to help.

Call out to him from a safe distance: “Mr. Peanut, I am here to help, please take some deep breaths and stop moving so I can help.” This might be a good time to practice saying that sentence aloud so it comes across naturally under the pressure of a real life situation. Continue repeating this until he responds and starts to comply with your request.

Only when Mr. Peanut has acknowledged you and gathered his emotions should you approach him and render aid. Continue speaking with him as you help. This would be a good time to tell him your name. Explain how you’re going to help him up and listen if he suggests other ways to do it – he has been in this situation before.

Remember as you help Mr. Peanut up – always lift with your legs and not your back!

Some Last Thoughts

Mr. Peanut Hot Air Balloon

Mr. Peanut Hot Air Balloon (Photo credit: Bobcatnorth)

Don’t just walk away. Like anyone else would be, Mr. Peanut will probably feel shaken and embarrassed by his ordeal. Taking a moment to reassure him would likely be appreciated.

You’ll want to help him get his hat and cane. Don’t let him bend over and get them himself, that could lead to another fall. Brushing dust and debris off his back would also be appropriate. Like us, Mr. Peanut can’t really see back there and his ability to reach his back is very limited.

Being Mr. Peanut is not easy. It is often a lonely existence, made more difficult by a flaw that his pride tells him to hide from us.

A little kindness on your part would make such a difference.

40 Comments on “Mr. Peanut – Behind The Monocle, Pain.”

  1. It seems that there needs to be a support group for advertising icons who lack important body parts: the Walmart smiley-face has no body; the Kool-Aid Man’s face is his body; and Big Boy’s feet seem to come directly from his hips…no legs or knees! The Pillsbury Dough-Boy lacks fingers and feet.

    Thank you for the helpful tips regarding Mr. Peanut…it might be wise to make sure he doesn’t imbibe too much holiday cheer (or get him a Life Alert button: “I’ve fallen…and I can’t get up”).


  2. Betty says:

    Or, just crack his shell and eat him.

  3. Todd Pack says:

    I think the lack of a waist is why he needs to use a cane, and I think his pain is why they chose Robert Downey Jr. as his voice. Downey’s been there. He knows. (Besides, Morgan Freeman was busy.)

  4. We found him Captain!! says:

    I have been practicing the rescue message and search procedures. I am building a megaphone and a rescue kit for doing peanut CPR using an ordinary drinking straw and a twist balloon pump. Kit blueprints and details will be available soon. My wife is making me a T-shirt identifying me as a qualified peanut lifeguard. I’m so happy you brought this problem to light… I never realized the hazards of being a peanut!!!

    Thank you for your humanitarian and peanutarian interest. I was wondering if you might know where the cord end of Mr. Peanut’s monocle is fastened?

  5. shoutabyss says:

    This post makes me so jealous. I wish I could write as good as you. Obviously a clear case of peanut envy.

  6. Melissa says:

    great post but I was hoping it was going to be about the creepy ass new Mr. Peanut commercials on tv. The one with the nut cracker… they just scare me for some reason.

  7. Hippie Cahier says:

    Spats? I am so impressed.

    Thank you for this insightful and poignant public service announcement.

  8. pattypunker says:

    i’m seeing a new college sport: mr peanut tipping.

  9. Katybeth says:

    Did you know that Mr. Potato head was the first toy ever advertised on television? This has nothing at all to do with your post. Except when I think of Mr. Peanut–I also think of Mr. Potato head. Maybe they could be salty spuds together–and Mr Potato head could help Mr. Peanut keep his balance and his cane and hat close at hand.

    Waistfully yours.

  10. Jane says:

    Remember that self-esteem is tantamount to survival! One way to ensure that Mr. Peanut can continue to face the world is to initiate a distraction during and right after the rescue.

    Ideas for efficacious distractions include, pretending that you and he are practicing dips while dancing the Tango (it helps if you whistle) or pretending that you and he are part of a break-dancing routine. If neither of the aforementioned seem appropriate, start a fake altercation with the mister and make it appear that he has won, then walk away with a limp and your shoulders in a slump.

    • Hippie Cahier says:

      Aw, man. That’s what I was going to say. I can’t believe I went with “spats” instead. 🙂

      • omawarisan says:

        So I could say “yes Mr. Peanut, that is my contact lens” and then help him up? I like that thought.

        I’ve got to go get contacts.

        I respected the spats comment, Hip! Stand by your spats.

  11. Keli says:

    I’ve always considered Mr. Peanut the Cary Grant, with a touch of Fred Astaire and Churchill, of waistless, anthropomorphic, advertising icons. So you can imagine my horror at the mere thought of Mr. Peanut falling and requiring such assistance. I’ve pictured him, after falling, as rolling gracefully, in even the slightest breeze, until eventually put upright again.
    Say it ain’t so.

  12. I never noticed the pain behind the peanut’s eyes, but now I see it so clearly. It breaks my heart that he has to wear the monacle, but it’s an obvious cry for help.

    By the way – is Robert Downey Jr. really starring as Mr. Peanut in a movie? If so, that’s the most amazing and outrageous thing I’ve ever heard.

    • omawarisan says:

      Don’t feel too badly, we’ve all missed it for years.

      Downey is now Mr. Peanut’s voice in a commercial. I’m kind of pissed, I could have done it, but they hand it to him because he is “good” and an “actor”.

  13. Vix says:

    Oh my goodness, I cried with laughter.

  14. Poor, Mr. Peanut. If no one offers to help him up or cracks his shell and eats him (I read the comments) I do believe my son is preparing to take his place…he has asked for a monocle, top hat and cane…we’ve been suspicious for a while now that he’s planning to audition to become the newest Mr. Peanut (perhaps he knew about the whole missing waist thing). Diane

    • omawarisan says:

      We all worry about our kids, I hope your son does not give up his waist to get the job. There’s no need for you to go thru that stress.

      thanks for reading the comments, some really bright people come here and make me laugh.

  15. […] Ms. The Jolie. They have burgers, but I think I’ll skip the fries. It would be a bit like the Planter’s Peanut Man eating peanut butter, wouldn’t […]

  16. […] Please enjoy Mr. Peanut – Behind The Monocle, Pain. […]

  17. List of X says:

    It’s entirely possible for Mr. Peanut to get up using his cane. His arms holding the cane are long enough to can push his body into vertical position while stabilizing his bottom with his legs. Once he’s vertical, he can get up, possibly still using the cane to balance himself.
    …Or maybe I just don’t want to help him myself, because I’m allergic to peanuts.

    • omawarisan says:

      Hmm. Could be. I wondered about the possibility of the cane, but concluded he didn’t have the arm strength to pull it off.

      I’ve altered the phrase to call out to him for your safety. Get your bullhorn and say “Mr. Peanut. I see that you are in trouble. I’ve alerted the authorities and help is on the way. Please be still, breathe deep and calm yourself. Don’t come closer, I am allergic to you.” I think he will comply because he will be moved because you helped even though he could make you ill.

  18. Katie says:

    And we all were led to believe he’s so jovial… It’s hard out there for a ‘nut.

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