Mr. Peanut, A Little Girl Needs Your Help

12 Mar

Dear Mr. Peanut –

It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog post, for I fear I am the bearer of troubling news, and since we’ve been Facebook friends for months now, I feel that I know your character – and I’m sadly confident that you are not going to like what I must tell you.

As you know, a small percentage of the population has a severe allergic reaction to your absolutely delicious and healthy products, and of course it’s nothing that you or your fine company have done to cause this health hazard, but I’m sure you would agree that people who cannot eat your salty treats have enough problems.  There’s no reason for us to pile any more worries upon them – I frankly can’t imagine how they sleep at night.

Sometimes, when I’m drinking an icy cold beer – I truly believe that I would die without peanuts.  Yes, and sometimes I weep for my allergy-stricken brothers and sisters, who must struggle through this harsh and bitter world without them.

But Mr. Peanut.  Sir.  I beg you to turn your mighty peanut-shell head to the situation in Edgewater, Florida right now, at the Edgewater Elementary School, where a little girl is so allergic to peanuts that even sitting next to someone who is eating them could cause an allergic reaction.

Now, I’m concerned that the lunatic headline to the article I’m about to link is going to enrage you so much that your shell is going to crack open, clunking one of your tasty brains onto the keyboard in front of you – and I couldn’t have that on my conscious, sir.  You are too important at this point in our nation’s history.  So for the sake of us all – brace yourself. 

It’s called Parents Protest Over Girl’s Peanut Allergy, and yes, you read that correctly.  Other parents are banding together and waving signs, and it’s not over unions or the middle class or taxation or even whales.

No, they’re protesting because their kids are having to make allowances to keep from killing their classmate with peanut particles.   

That’s the sort of allergy that the little girl has, you see.  I’ll just quote her mom from the same article:

“We’re not talking about she will break out in a rash. We are talking about she will die, stop breathing.”

And while it is true that the allowances are quite severe – the students are having to rinse their mouths out before entering the girl’s classroom, they’re not allowed to bring peanut products to school at all, they have to wash their hands a lot – I think you and me and anyone except the Grinch and this one batch of serious, peanut-loving parents would agree that they are not nearly as severe as death.

Death, Mr. Peanut.  I’m talking about parents who know that peanut particles could kill this girl, and yet they’re protesting because – and damn it, I’m serious – their children are missing out on iconic American childhood memories.  Like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and bringing in cookies with peanut products in them, on birthdays.

Also, the precautions are taking up valuable classtime.  Just ask one concerned parent, who reckoned that the students spend “probably a half an hour” washing hands and rinsing.  And so she thinks that rather than sharpening her own child’s clearly-not-very-impressive hand-washing skills, everybody ought to instead just lighten up about Possible Death.

I really hadn’t realized how integral peanut products were to elementary education until I saw the little throng of parents, confident and steadfast in their conviction that the little girl’s life was worth risking in the name of Not Washing Your Hands and Fond Peanut Memories For Everybody.

“I’m really sorry about the girl’s medical condition,” none of them were quoted as saying.  “But I don’t inconvenience myself or exercise compassion or consideration or even good manners.  Not toward you, not toward Mr. Peanut, and certainly not toward an innocent little girl who would like to go to school with the rest of the kids, pursuant to federal law and the Americans With Disablities Act.”

But I’m pretty sure that’s what they meant, aren’t you, Mr. Peanut?

Notice also that they are bringing in “peanut-sniffing dogs.”  Now I know that such a concept must alarm you sir, though I’ve seen you sword fight, and I am confident no dog on Earth is any match for you, but you and I must take a moment to reflect on what would make such a move necessary – and I think we can arrive at only one conclusion.

These nasty, awful, self-centered parents who have been politely informed (in this letter from last August) of the deadly risks, have been sending their kids to school with peanut products anyway.  So they’re having to bring in dogs to figure out who’s doing it.

Let’s teach that little girl a lesson, yes?  We’ll show her how we handle people with involuntary medical conditions!

Mr. Peanut – these people are so blinded by their love of peanuts, that I fear only you can reason with them.  Only you can convince them that as tasty and healthy as peanuts are to most of us, they are not worth the life of a beautiful little girl.

Perhaps a visit to her school would be in order.  Or on second thought, maybe a video conference would be a better idea, to lessen the confusion and again, you gotta figure, she’s allergic to you, too.  Probably your footprints and farts and the sounds you make when you tapdance – everything.  Let’s try and stay focused here.

Because the fact is, here are human beings who appear to respect peanuts more than their own little sister, and if anyone can help them find their own humanity again, it’s you.  An anthropomorphic peanut.  The pinnacle of evolution here on Earth.  You have to talk to them, Mr. Peanut.  And if talking doesn’t work, then you might have to get rough.

It’s your sacred duty.  It’s the Way of the Peanut.  This little girl matters, sir, or nothing matters.  She matters – or what’s the point of peanuts at all?

Let’s show them – you and I – that eating peanuts is about togetherness and protein and yumminess and sure, if you’re 21 and acting responsibly, icy cold beers.  But it’s not about stupefying, inconsiderate bullshit, and it’s not about killing innocent little girls or even making them feel like crap about themselves, for their allergies.

I guess some folks have never seen Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, and so they haven’t learned, like Spock did, that sometimes the good of the one outweighs the good of the many.

And Captain Kirk’s not here, Mr. Peanut.  So it’s up to you and me to teach them.  Let’s saddle up, my friend – there are old-fashioned bullies afoot.  Peanut bullies, and I don’t think we can turn a blind eye.


Future Tom


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20 responses to “Mr. Peanut, A Little Girl Needs Your Help

  1. Jeff Silvey

    March 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Peanut bullies are the worst. Show ’em who’s boss!

    • Tom Chalfant

      March 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Oh, yeah, there’s a reckoning coming for these peanut bullies, my friend.. H’yah!

  2. ecossie possie

    March 13, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Thease parents are NUTS…………

  3. John Higdon

    March 13, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Perhaps you should also appeal to the Peanut M&M. I’m sure he would help!

    • Tom Chalfant

      March 18, 2011 at 6:08 am

      Unfortunately me and the Peanut M&M had a falling out years ago. He doesn’t talk to me anymore..

  4. karis

    March 16, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Finally, a peanut lover that isn’t willing to kill others over his salty desires…LIKE!

    • Tom Chalfant

      March 18, 2011 at 6:07 am

      Well, I wouldn’t rule it out – peanuts are serious business. But certainly not an innocent little girl..

  5. Linda

    March 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Right on! As a parent of a 9 year old boy who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, you ROCK! I read the news article about the protesting parents and was so angry and sickened by their lack of compassion for an 8 year old child. What lessons are they teaching their children? That a peanut butter sandwich is more important than a child’s life?

    • Tom Chalfant

      March 18, 2011 at 6:06 am

      I love that this made it to the right families, I really do. I thought the same thing – what on Earth are you trying to teach your kids?

      It’s seriously almost like they don’t comprehend the situation or something. What do they want the girl to do? Do they think there’s a Peanut Allergy Academy and do they think she should be confined to it?

      And you’re not going to believe this but I’m not allergic to peanuts and I’ve never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my life. Always thought they were incredibly unappetizing. It turns out, childhood rolls on anyway..

      • Linda

        March 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

        In addition, my son goes to a small private school-18 third graders total in his class. Each and every one of them, including his teachers and parents watch out for him. One of his friends changed his choice of his birthday cake so that my son could have a slice and not have something “special”. A parent just called me yesterday to be sure my son could have one of the cupcakes she was making for class, and made a point to inform his teacher that the cupcakes were OKed by me! Now that’s compassion!

      • Tom Chalfant

        March 26, 2011 at 2:24 am

        That’s exactly, exactly what I would have imagined that any parent would want to teach their child about how to respond to those around us. I am just absolutely blown away that these people are objecting, and now recently, I’ve just read that the school has relaxed the policy and now the kids don’t have to rinse anymore.

    • gina

      June 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      my daughter is allergic to peanuts and her friend (who is turning FIVE) told her mother that she had to make sure her birthday cake was peanut free for her friend. It is her birthday and she is concerned over my daughter. True compassion. Those people aren’t teaching anything good to their children. i love this article! thank you!

  6. Melanie Kirkman

    March 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Well said!

  7. Tracey Bailey

    March 18, 2011 at 2:20 am


    As the parents of this little girl we can not thank you enough! This article is awesome! Our little girl does not deserve this!

    The Bailey’s

    • Tom Chalfant

      March 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

      Wow, I’m absolutely thrilled this found it’s way to you and you are very welcome. People are absolutely baffling sometimes with their selfishness and tunnel vision. I hope they pull themselves together down there.

      Unfortunately, no word from Mr. Peanut yet, but my understanding is, he gets a lot of mail.

      Has the situation been resolved down there, or has it gotten worse? We’d welcome any updates here any time anything good or crazy happens. Please tell your daughter if she were going to our school district she’d have a batch of people waving signs on her side!

    • Linda

      March 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      My heart goes out to you! I have a 9 year old son allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Reading all the articles has brought me to tears. My husband had to tell me to calm down. I hope that the situation gets better for your family, and that the protesting parents have a wake-up call!

  8. Beck

    March 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Nicely written. You gave me something to think about with the dog business. I’m assuming the dog wouldn’t be necessary if the parents were diligent in keeping their child’s lunches and snacks peanut free.

    So now I’m also assuming, but maybe I shouldn’t because my knowledge of allergies is somewhat limited, that the mouth rinse was added to the daily routine because the Baileys suspected that children were still eating peanut products for lunch and snacks.

    • Tom Chalfant

      March 26, 2011 at 2:25 am

      Yes, that’s exactly right – they are making a big deal out of things which I suspect were responses to the repeated reports of peanut products in the school.


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