The Banana As Multi-Tool – The author takes some fruit on a crazy field trip.
I woke up late. Millions of things to do. Billions of things to do. My sitter arrives on time, an I am struggling to get out the door. Coat. Shoes. Bottled water. Kiss the babies. Breakfast. Breakfast! I run to the kitchen and peruse the fruit bowl. Tomatoes are not good for the road, unless you are an angry motorist, in which case they explode nicely on the side of an SUV. Avocado? I visualize myself ripping off the top with my teeth and squeezing the green mushy mass into my mouth. The pit pops out geting lodged in my esophagus, and the 911 operator can’t even hear my muffled pleas. No avocado. I think avocado is the Spanish word for lawyer anyway, and I would feel guilty eating any fruit that endured college that long. This leaves lemons, apples and the last banana. I choose the banana. I think it knows its fate. I wedge it in the pocket of my black ¾ trench and shoot out the door and into my van, securing myself, and Mr. Banana snugly in the seat belt.
First stop with my fruity friend, the therapists’ office. I spend an hour telling her why I am not crazy and everyone else in the world is. I cannot speak and eat my banana. At $130 an hour eating my 25 cent banana will cost me at least 15 bucks. So it sits in my pocket, enticingly concealed in my coat pocket. Leaving the office, I withdraw it from its hiding place and remind it that although it is not a licensed therapist, everything heard in that doctor’s office must remain confidential. Besides, I hold the banana bread recipe.
Next stop is the salon at the mall. I need a hair cut. I am beginning to look like I should grow a goatee and work for Green Peace on a save the fruit campaign. As my hair friend of several years trims me up, I realize I could have saved the cash I gave to the therapist.
KB: So how are you?
P: Oh, I have anxiety disorder. Right now I am planning a funeral for the hair you cut off. Don’t lose any of it.
KB: Sounds serious.
P: I have a banana in my pocket.
KB: Oh, you are so funny.
I pull out the banana…
KB: Go ahead and eat if you’re hungry.
At that point I visualize peeling the banana down to its feet. My free falling clippings stick to it like iron filings on a magnet. I choke on my own hair. I dial 911 but the operator can’t make out my muffled cries for help. “No thanks” I say. Deciding I look like a blond Audrey Hepburn, I tip my stylist $1,000 and contemplate giving her the banana. No, too valuable in the event of a blood sugar crisis.
Next door is the next store. The cosmetics place. I love this place. I can walk in and out of there as quickly as I want, and without getting spray bombed by a unit of perfume “models”. They are smart enough to realize that the look on my face says, “NO, I do not want a makeover.” You see, I worked in cosmetics before. I know the racket. You walk in for a $10 eye shadow, and you leave having spent your home equity line of credit, after which you go home and break out in a rash. The best part, for the salesperson that is, having opened the jars, it isn’t returnable. The perfect business. I walk in and show the make up artist my expended little pots of color: little bright hued perimeters surrounding shiny metal bottoms. She gets the idea. Searching for the replacements takes some time. I realize it is part of her plan as I get impatient and start to browse, remembering all the stuff I forgot I need. She comes back with my three eye shadow pots. I load her up with a fourth shadow, a make-up brush, a compact of powder foundation, two lip glosses, a bottle of perfume I don’t even like, and a lime green eye liner that looks great on the display but I will definitely be too chicken to actually wear.
She asks “Is that all?” sounding disappointed that I left something in the store for other people to buy. “I have a banana in my pocket” I say withdrawing my breakfast. “Please feel free to eat it if you’re hungry” she says. I ask her if my cloaked banana was convincing enough to pull off a bank heist. I pay her the several million dollars for my goods, and wait for my mall security escort.
Next stop, jeans. None of my jeans fit. I lost two pant sizes somewhere between my kitchen and bedroom. I head to the Gap. I tell the clerk about my dilemma. She produces two pairs of “long and leans”, which I find humorous considering I am neither long, nor particularly lean. In fact, my legs resemble drumsticks, the kind you find on a chicken, as opposed to the ones you bang with. I ask her if they carry “chicken leg” jeans. She hurries me into the fitting room promising to return to check on me. The jeans are just snug enough, unlike my other pairs that are so saggy they make me look like I have 4 butt cheeks. I look fine, and hungry. I realize I am hungry, but can’t waste this prime opportunity. She knocks on the door. I throw the door open, pelvis thrust proudly forward “what do you think?”. She spies my banana bulge crotch, and looks away to collect herself. I turn around so she can check out my scrumptious booty. “They, look, um good, but maybe you should try something with a lower inseam.” No, I like these” I exclaim. I put the jeans on the counter and pull out my credit card. “I have a banana in my pocket” I say. We aren’t allowed to discuss personal matters with customers”. No really, I ‘ll show you, it’s funny”. I pull the banana out of my pocket. Apparently the $120 sale was enough of an apology, but the din of the receipt printing wasn’t enough to drown out her disgusted harrumphing.
Suddenly I remember I have hungry children at home. Back in my van it’s time for the grocery store. I walk in the store and head directly for the Starbucks. You see we have one of “those” stores that thinks it’s more than a place to buy food. There is a bank and a coffee shop. Frankly I don’t ever remember thinking to myself, “gee I really need to run out for a gallon of milk and open an IRA over a latte”, but hey, it could happen some day.
The woman at the counter knows my drink, but since they can’t mix cocktails she foams up a “tall mocha”. I think “I am standing at a coffee bar in a grocery store drinking tall coffee in long and lean jeans”. Brilliant. I ask the familiar coffee bar-keep if she wants to hear the country western song I just composed. “Sure!” she says.
I pull out the banana and begin to warble into it…
“I am standing at a coffee bar in a grocery store
Thinking about our romance more and more
Drinking tall coffee in long and lean jeans
I’d tell you I love you but you don’t know what it means
This is where we met, and where I ‘ll leave you too
Because my banana is a bigger man than you”
“Bravo” all two tables are clapping. The barista chica runs me over to the service desk. They put me on mike:
“There’s a lost little boy at the front of the store
He is frightened to the core
Come and find him ‘mommy dearest’
Before I contact DCFSest”
Clap clap clap clap clap! Encore, encore!
“There’s a spill in aisle three
Coffee grounds strewn under the tea
Please come with your dust pan
And follow up with Spic and Span!”
I am famous, and still hungry. I triumphantly pull out my banana and take a well deserved bite. The store manager charges me for it. I explain to him that this banana was an old friend. That it’s been with me all morning. It played a trick on the Gap girl, it sang with me, tried on eye shadow. …
Forking over the 50 cents I vow not to come back to the store until they offer me a recording contract, or I open an interest bearing savings account. Not even their offers of a free ham can get me back. I leave, with one final purchase, a kiwi in my pocket.
“There’s a kiwi in my pocket……”