BERKELEY, Calif.— As November approached we at The Free Peach began to hear more and more buzz about “No Nut November.” As this publication is renowned for its hard-hitting investigative journalism, we knew it was our duty to try out No Nut November and report back to the public.
The mission: Last an entire month without eating any nuts or nut-adjacent products.
The team: the entire Free Peach staff, whether they wanted to or not.
The result: absolute chaos, the destruction of multiple friendships, and several staffers reduced to their most primal selves, husks of who they once were.
“This sounds easy,” editor Jamile Feldman remarked on November first, tossing out a granola bar she’d had stashed at the bottom of her backpack for a year or so. “I don’t even really like nuts.” Soon, though, she realized the weight of the situation. “Oh… my god,” she rasped on November fifth when NNN was brought up during the weekly Free Peach meeting, “I… I need an almond.” The rest of our staff looked on in horror as she suddenly ran and tackled a nearby freshman to the ground in order to steal the package of trail mix he had been idly snacking on.
Sophomore listicle writer Samantha Macentire thought she would fare pretty well, “sure, I like nuts. But it’s not like I need them. I mean, it’s just a month.” She had the rest of the writing team convinced that she would make it. That is, until November seventh when she stopped responding to all Free Peach groupchat communications, leading several concerned writers to stop by her apartment. When they approached her front door they reported what sounded like a feral animal screeching and clawing at something inside. Frightened, they managed to jimmy open a window and enter, only to stop in their tracks when they came upon Samantha, hands and face covered in peanut butter, without a trace of humanity left in her eyes. Several discarded empty tubs of Extra Crunchy Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter littered the floor, and nearly every surface in the room had peanut butter smeared on it. The Free Peach staff writers, rest their souls, could not contain themselves and began to lick the walls and chairs ravenously.
By November twelfth, only three Free Peach staff members were still participating in No Nut November. Four had already been hospitalized due to injuries incurred while attempting to acquire nut products. Two had been sent home by the university due to poor class attendance, trouble focusing, violent outbursts, and aggressive behavior. One was in prison for the attempted murder of another writer with a single Almond Joy candy-bar.
While by this point other publications may have decided the cost of this journalistic experiment was too high to be considered “ethical,” The Free Peach is dedicated to informing the public, no matter the cost. The final three vowed to continue No Nut November until December first.
That is, until pasta night when writer Nelson Lumberton found himself uncontrollably shoveling pesto into his mouth, swallowing heap after heap of pasta without chewing a single bite. Fellow writer and No Nut November finalist Mackenzie Tibbit watched in horror. “Nelson,” she gasped, “Nelson… no!” Trembling, Nelson looked down at his plate, down at the duplicitous green sauce.
“Pine nuts,” he whispered.
And then there were two.
Wanda Morell finally succumbed to No Nut induced psychosis on November fifteenth, and has been unable to respond to her fellow staff members attempts to get a statement. At the time of this article’s publication she continues to lay in the fetal position in the corner of her dorm room muttering nonutnotnutnonutnonut with no indication of stopping. It is unclear whether she has yet consumed any nuts or nut related products.
Only Mackenzie Tibbit remains, the final victor of No Nut November. “I’m allergic anyway,” she commented when she received the Medal of Courage from Chancellor Christ.