Gil Maher: An Interview With The Driver Of The NUTmobile
Mr. Peanut (Kayla Schmidt) poses beside the NUTmobile When I discovered the Planters NUTmobile was coming to Fayetteville, North Carolina...
|Mr. Peanut (Kayla Schmidt) poses beside the NUTmobile|
How did you become a driver for Planters?
They hire recent college graduates. They go to different campuses around the country with the NUTmobile. It's sort of a big attraction. People go, "What is this?" and they say, "You can drive it one day." So yeah, it was a good way to see the country. It's a free road trip. You get to meet everybody and drive a giant food-shaped vehicle. It can't get much better.
|Gil Maher and Mr. Peanut (Kayla Schmidt)|
I've been doing it since June 6th. That was our first day.
We drive on Monday, so we go from one city to another. Our most recent one was from Suffolk, Virginia to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where we are right now. We usually have Tuesday and Wednesday off to go explore the city. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are all work days. Right now, we're at Food Lion. We hand out coupons and hand out samples and people take pictures. Sometimes, we get other events like a peanut festival where we just came from where the people are literally nuts for Mr. Peanut.
|Even the Food Lion employees want their pictures taken with Mr. Peanut|
In our off time we like to go see the city. We went to downtown Fayetteville. We went to the Transportation Museum which was pretty cool. I actually got to drive to Raleigh yesterday and just walk around and get lunch there, which is a nice city too. Really, we ask people what we should do because Mr. Peanut's on his Bucket List Tour. It's sort of a celebration of life where he's doing all the things he's always wanted to do and it's great because we ask people what we should do and what Mr. Peanut should do. Often they're good suggestions for us, too.
|Check out the personalized plate|
It's pretty easy actually. A lot of people think it would be difficult, but it's like driving a big SUV. We had a good bit of training beforehand. But when it's your only vehicle... We go to the movies, we're taking the NUTmobile with us! You get used to it.
|Front view of the NUTmobile|
Oh, no. This is all we got. It's pretty conspicuous.
|This is where the magic happens|
About 60 minutes. 1 mile per hour per minute. No, it's fine. We drive the speed limit. We drive safely. But it's pretty big.
|The NUTmobile sports the finest in CB technology|
We get that question a lot. I don't really know because our vehicles are newer. I think it would be pretty even because they're very similar.
|Interior facing the front|
I would hope zero but I do know that people get pretty excited because you don't see a giant peanut every single day.
|Interior facing the rear|
We've gone to a lot of places but I think my favorite city thus far has been Savannah (Georgia). I really liked Savannah a lot. We did a tour around the city and the houses were beautiful and I loved the parks and everything. That's been my favorite.
|The ceiling depicts the evolution of Mr. Peanut|
That's a good question. I found out yesterday that I get to take the NUTmobile home. I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That's probably number one for me.
|More evolution of Mr. Peanut|
We do run into some pretty nutty people. We were working and a guy just walks up and says, "Hey guys. How are you doing? Here's my Mr. Peanut tattoo." He pulls up his arm, "I got a Mr. Peanut tattoo! I love it!" We gave him a jar of peanuts since he's such a big fan.
|Front view of the NUTmobile|
I would say I really enjoy when we tell people bye, we say, "Cashew later." I really like that one a lot. Or "Saltutations." That's a good one too.
|People love Mr. Peanut|