John and Winona might seem like your average recently-wed couple. Both young professionals starting out on their careers, they are apprehensive about the current state of the world economy (but hope their man Barack ‘Boom’ Obama will turn things around in a second term), are struggling to find money to pay off their student debt, and trying to find a wholesome work-life balance. John and Winona, though, are not your average couple; they are peanuts. And they live in the 25-cent vending machine outside Gert’s. The Twice-a-Weekly caught up with the pair for an interview after they celebrated their one-year anniversary on Tuesday.
The Twice-a-Weekly (TW): So, first question, because I guess there’s no dodging it really, so we may as well cut to the chase, but you two are peanuts, aren’t you?
Winona Peanut (WP): Hello! Yes, we are peanuts. Salted peanuts.
John Peanut (JP): Living the peanut lifestyle! Livin’ the peanut-loca!
WP: Okay, shh now John.
JP: Yes, sorry. Just love the peanut lifestyle!
TW: Tell us about the life. How did you come to peanut lifestyle? What was attractive about being a peanut?
WP: Well, it’s funny you mention that, actually, because it’s not something we get asked a lot.
JP: Yeah, we live exclusively with other peanuts now, so I guess we’re all normalized to the lifestyle now. No questions asked, really.
WP: I guess that’s one of the attractions of the lifestyle, now you mention it. It tends to attract mostly non-judgemental types; everyone seems to be quite a freethinker, and very accepting, yeah.
JP: We came to the life after seeing an advertisement in a paper, the Montreal Mirror (RIP) actually.
WP: Yeah we we were just sitting in Santropol one day, trying to catch up on our essays for school, and we saw this advert in the Mirror. It just said: Wanted. People who want to be peanuts. We thought it was a joke, obviously. But we called up for fun.
JP: We called up the number, and they told us to come in for an interview. So we went, and the interview was in a surprisingly legit building downtown – on Peel, I think – and we were just all giggles weren’t we?
WP: Oh, we were the worst! We had dressed up as peanuts, just for fun, and we were really looking forward to meeting the people behind the adverts. We thought anyone who puts an advert in the Mirror for people who want to be peanuts would be fucking hilarious!
TW: So how did you realize it wasn’t a joke? How did you end up becoming peanuts?
WP: Well, they weren’t hilarious at all. That was the first surprise. They were just not funny. The second surprise is that they were peanuts. That they were peanuts who were talking to us. Also they seemed kind of pissed.
JP: Yeah it turns out about a dozen people had turned up in peanut costumes that day. I think they were just about to pack it all up and go home when we turned up, but they figured they’d give it one last shot.
TW: So they gave you a pitch about why you should become peanuts?
WP: Exactly. I’m not gonna pretend our jaws didn’t drop at first. But, then, well, they said we should at least consider it. And to be honest we just hadn’t thought about becoming peanuts, so we felt like we should at least hear them out.
JP: And they were so persuasive! I mean, I can still recite the statistics to this day. Peanuts have no concept of property ownership in their culture – everyone shares everything; peanuts all work according to consensus and mutual-aid; and peanuts only listen to good music!
TW: Wow. Who’d have thought peanuts have a great taste in culture?
WP: Please don’t use that word.
TW: Which one?
WP: Taste. It’s a very sensitive issue in the peanut community. We just don’t use it. Peanuts can be very judgy about their taste. Very.
TW: So, anyway, you became peanuts. Was that an easy transition, from being non-peanuts? How did you adapt to the lifestyle?
JP: Oh. I mean it was hard at first. We missed our limbs for a while.
WP: And clothes. It does take time to get used to the nakedness.
JP: Yes. But after a while you do adjust. And, well, they weren’t lying to us in the pitch! Peanuts do have the best life! To start with, peanuts are literally the nicest things on earth. We all live in a wonderful naked commune. We’re all very open about our issues, and we try to solve problems within the community before they boil over.
TW: That sounds wonderful. How has it been being married, in a community like that?
WP: Oh, no problem at all. Everyone respects each other’s boundaries and heritage, but we all still manage to have a deep love for each other.
TW: And yet you want to move out of the commune, out of the vending machine?
JP: Well, yeah. We’ve loved our time. But there is a right of passage with peanuts. After a while you just accept that it’s your time. You have to go to the bottom of the box and wait until the Key of Destiny is turned and we fall down and into freedom.
WP: It’s something every peanut dreams of! The moment you drop into freedom, to start a new and long phase of life.
TW: And do you know what happens in that life? Have you ever talked to any peanuts? Do you know what actually happens to peanuts once they drop through the hole?
JP: Honestly, no. But, judging by peanut life so far, it’s sure to be wonderful and free!
—Compiled by Euan EK