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…