Tag Archives: bananas

Going Bananas

You know how you’ll be cheerfully going on with life, and suddenly the fates deliver a spate of occurrences related to the same obscure item?  Well, for the last couple of weeks it’s been bananas.  Actual bananas; although things have been a bit bananas in the metaphorical sense, too.

Digression:  Why do we say ‘going bananas’?  What makes bananas crazier than any other fruit?  We don’t ‘go apples’ or ‘go peaches’.  Although now that I think of it, I kinda like ‘going kumquats’.

Back to my point:

I realize bananas aren’t particularly obscure. They’re always in fruit baskets and grocery stores; but they lurk unobtrusively in the background (at least, as unobtrusively as any large yellow phallic object can lurk).  But lately they’ve been popping up in my life repeatedly.

It all started with Hubby. And no, I’m not going to make an off-colour reference to his banana popping up; though the temptation is strong. (Yikes, maybe I’m finally growing up! But probably not.)

Anyway, you may recall that we’ve been experimenting with tomato wine and cider. It’s too soon to tell whether any of it will be palatable, but as a preemptive (or maybe defensive) action Hubby has been researching wine conditioners, i.e. ‘anything that will make vile rotgut tolerable enough to swallow’.

And guess what? A lot of people condition their fruit wines with banana wine.  To me, that sounds like starting with shit and adding new shit in the hope of creating something that doesn’t taste like shit; but what do I know?

That was the first banana-related occurrence.  Next I went out to visit my step-mom. One morning as I reached for the fruit basket, she said, “You do know how to open a banana correctly, don’t you?”

I hesitated, wondering if this was the setup for a joke or the introduction to an etiquette lesson (because everybody knows that ‘ladies’ eat bananas sideways in public). Turned out it was neither.

“I saw it on TV,” she said. “You hold them by the stem, parallel to the floor with the tip curving up, and then snap your wrist down and the banana will open.”

And damn, she was right.  After more than fifty years on this earth, I finally know how to open a banana.

Flushed with my new knowledge, I suggested to Hubby that it would be an efficient way to peel a bunch of bananas if he decides to go ahead with the banana wine.

He raised a skeptical eyebrow. “What if the bananas are really ripe?” he inquired. “Like they are when you make banana bread.  Because that’s how ripe they need to be for wine.”

“Oh,” said I, crestfallen. “No, that would probably end up more like ‘squish-splat’.”

From there the conversation devolved into speculations about banana-bombs and other forms of domestic warfare.  We never did get back to banana wine; but it’s probably for the best.  The smell of fermenting bananas would drive me kumquats.

Have any bananas popped up in your life lately?

Book 15 update:  At last, some quality writing time!  I’m halfway through Chapter 12 and John has just saved the day… for now…

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Funny As A Turnip

A few weeks ago I noted in passing that some vegetables are funnier than others. So that got me thinking about the innate amusement value of produce.

At first I thought it might be the shape that determines the joke factor. After all, oranges are spherical and pretty boring, whereas bananas are oddly shaped and intrinsically funny. But that might be a subconscious bias on my part. Bananas come with a lot of psychological baggage as a result of their frequent misuse for purposes best left unmentioned…

Wait, why are you snickering? I was referring to the classic ‘slipping-on-a-banana-peel’ pratfall. What did you think I was talking about?

Okay, never mind; I’ll drop the fake indignation. You know me too well. But to keep this discussion pseudo-scientific, I’ll omit the phallic symbols that trigger a chortle-bias in my puerile brain. No bananas, cucumbers, or zucchini.

So let’s take turnips. Nobody in their right mind could assign a sexual connotation to a turnip. And if you’re about to inform me otherwise, please… just don’t. That’s the kind of thing no amount of brain-bleach can wipe from my mind. Not to mention it’ll make me snicker every time I go through the produce department.

I find turnips innocently funny. ‘Turnip’. It’s such a lumpish, stolid word. It’s the sumo wrestler of vegetables. Maybe it tickles my funnybone because one of my favourite sayings is ‘Strong like ox; smart like turnip’. Or maybe it’s only because other words beginning with ‘tur’ make me giggle, so turnips are funny by association.  For instance, just try saying these words out loud without cracking a smile: ‘Turkey’. ‘Turgid’. ‘Turd’.  (If you’re reading this at work, you might want to skip the ‘out loud’ part… but I dare you…)

Whatever the reason, turnips are a lot funnier than, say, lettuce.

If amusement value was influenced by shape alone, leaf lettuce should be a good candidate for some laughs. Ruffles and green colouring – it should be funny, right? (I find green funnier than red or yellow, too, but that’s a subject for another post… or possibly for incarceration and intense psychoanalysis.)

But no; lettuce isn’t funny. Maybe it’s because amusing things rarely happen while you’re eating lettuce. It’s at best a duty and at worst a punishment. I usually enjoy its crisp crunchiness and the fact that it’s good for me, but it doesn’t make me giggle. And if I want crisp and crunchy, I’d rather eat potato chips. Or if it has to be crisp, crunchy, and green, give me dill pickles. Or what the hell; dill-pickle-flavoured potato chips.

But back to my rigorous scientific analysis.

Broccoli is funny: It’s green (see, green is funny), and its resemblance to little trees is amusing. Plus, if you’re into childish humour, it stinks even when it’s fresh, and post-digestion it’s lethal if you get caught in the blast nimbus.

But just to mess up the ‘green and oddly-shaped’ theory, I also think persimmons are funny. There shouldn’t be anything intrinsically funny about a round yellow-orange fruit, but ‘persimmon’ is a giggle-worthy word in itself. When I was a kid I thought it was a made-up word; a colloquialism for a fruit that surely must have a more dignified name that the adults used. And persimmons have those little crispy-brown tutus around their stems.

Come to think of it, ‘tutu’ starts with ‘tu’…

Which fruits/veggies do you find funniest?

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MWF Seeking Woman With Gun

This week I’m working on the cover art for the sixth book of my series, and I’m wading through images that range from OMG to WTF and everything in between.

As you may have noticed, the visual theme for the Never Say Spy series is “woman with gun”.  Try searching that phrase on a stock photo site.  You won’t believe the range of results.  Apparently there’s an enormous need for stock photos of women from all walks of life holding firearms.

Brides, women in schoolgirl uniforms, soldiers, police officers, business women, rednecks, slutty cops in lingerie, bikini models in sky-high heels, punks, cowgirls, pregnant women, pioneers, spies, pirates, Cossacks, construction workers, Muslim women, duck hunters, and female SWAT personnel are just a few of the variations I’ve found.

Wardrobe choices range from leather, lace, fur, camo, denim, and spandex to more unusual garb like plastic wrap, tartan micro-minis, hard hats, headscarves, men’s pajama tops, parkas, sailor suits, a Napoleon uniform, metallic gold body paint, and nothing but a hat.

Clearly most of these women have never actually fired a gun, though it would be fun to watch them try using those grip positions.  And maybe I’m just a strait-laced old lady, but I’ve never felt the urge to shoot in the nude (or even wearing a nice conservative string bikini).  I prefer to keep my tender parts covered when there are hot brass cartridges flying around.  I guess I’m just a wimp.

Weapon choices vary wildly.  There are the usual assault rifles, semi-auto pistols, shotguns, revolvers, and air rifles, but bananas seem to be an extremely popular choice of weapon, too.  I wonder if the gun control advocates realize that these deadly weapons are readily available in every supermarket, stored within easy reach of children.  It’s shocking, I tell you.

If you’re looking for more unusual weapons, there are dangerous-looking women brandishing paintball guns, water pistols, fingers, hair dryers, tattoo guns, drills, cannons, gasoline nozzles, muskets, flintlocks, nerf guns, cameras, caulking guns, or a heavy-duty perforator.  If I ever write a thriller about construction workers, I’m gonna use the photo of the blonde with the hard hat and perforator.  That chick’s got muscles.

And… in all the thousands of photos retrieved by searching “woman with gun”, there was one picture of a cowed-looking young guy in a shirt and tie, holding a little-bitty gun and looking apologetic.  I’m not sure whether the photo was tagged wrong or whether they popped that one in there just for fun, but I got a good laugh out of it.

Which was nice, because I figured they owed me after making me look at a naked woman posing with a bleeding, severed pig’s head.  No matter what you need, there’s a stock photo out there for you.  Though if you need that one, please don’t tell me.  I’d rather sleep tonight.

But I really can’t complain.  There are worse ways to spend a day than looking at pictures on the internet while blasting my favourite tunes.

I’m off to work now…

What are you up to today?  Brandishing your banana?  Decapitating pigs?  Do tell.

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