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Why Mr. Peanut Died, Became Peanut Junior, Then Bart
Do you feel like you’ve aged more than a quarter of a century in three mere months? We’re right there with you—and so is Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe (Bart for short), or the artist formerly known as Peanut Junior, formerly known as Baby Nut. Just in time to hawk some holiday merchandise, everyone’s favorite spokesnut has miraculously aged 29 years. It’s a capitalist—er, Christmas—miracle!
Let’s recap the crazy year Bart has had. On February 2nd, in a lifetime that feels far removed from this one, Baby Nut was born when the tears of the Kool Aid Man watered the grave of Mr. Peanut (cause of death, age 104: Nutmobile collision and subsequent explosion), causing Baby Nut to sprout into existence. After just seven months of grape-vining and twerking in his digital nursery, Baby Nut transformed into Peanut Junior, a 21-year-old legume who brazenly flouted masking guidelines at his local watering hole. Today, for his greatest trick yet, Peanut Junior has aged a miraculous 29 years to become Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, a mature, 50-year old spokesnut who’s arrived just in time to shellebrate the holiday season. He’s shellebrating, of course, with a product spot, encouraging his loyal followers to purchase everything from Nutmobile ornaments to ugly sweaters emblazoned with his face.
Peanutheads will remember that the full name of the OG Mr. Peanut (God rest his soul) was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe. But don’t get it twisted—Bart and Mr. Peanut are two separate people… er, nuts. Mr. Peanut’s spirit and wisdom live on within Bart, but Mr. Peanut, we assure you, is dead and gone. Don’t expect any Jon Snow resurrection twist here.
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Dear reader, we have so many questions—and so few answers. Are nut years like dog years? Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six-hundred minutes—how do you measure a nut year? In twerking, in Planters cheese balls, in resurrections? Let’s not lose sight of the Christmas angle, either. Is Bart actually a Jesus-like figure, rising from the tomb to exhibit miracles for downtrodden Twitter users throughout this Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad year? Is Bart the reason for the season? If he is, why is he encouraging us to spend our hard-earned cash on eating his brethren?
Bart aging up just in time to shill for the Planters holiday collection is perhaps the most American ending imaginable to this quintessentially American advertising story. We’ve got to wonder: what’s next for Bart, now that he’s over the hill? Is he going to have a midlife crisis and buy a glossy, cherry red Nutmobile? Will he start receiving AARP: The Magazine? Does he qualify for a discounted senior ticket at the movie theater?
Now that Bart is 50, what comes next? Will he soon be 75, 90, 104? At some point, will he die and be reincarnated again? It’s dark, we know, but it’s our journalistic duty to ask. There’s no telling when we’ll find out about the next milestone in Bart’s journey on this highway called life, but rest assured that we’re with him, every step of the way. See you next nut year, pal.
Adrienne Westenfeld is a writer and editor at Esquire, where she covers books and culture.
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