Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Failure of the Day: Bananas

In high school, my best friend Melissa told me that you were truly an adult when you could eat a banana in public without being embarrassed. That seems true to me now, but not for the reasons that I thought made it true back then.

Bananas are one of the (very) few fruits I will consent to eat. They're OK. But they are also pretty damn troublesome. Chris and I do our grocery shopping on Friday nights—we are one swingin' couple, I tell you what—and each Friday, I buy 5 bananas, one for each morning of the upcoming week. Now, this is a damn tricky proposition because I'm buying the bananas all at once but I want each one to be ripe on a different day. I usually pull one banana at a time from their bunches while Chris hides in the lettuce department.

I call this process picking time-release bananas because I have to choose one banana that will be ripe in three days, one that will be ripe in four days and so on until I choose a banana that will be ripe in seven days. What I am trying to be, it turns out, is a fruit psychic. But bananas are wily; they don't give that kind of information out to just anyone. They'll lie right to your face and display all kinds lovely green shading on Friday and you wake up on Saturday to find a withered up brown bag of porridge instead of Wednesday's banana. Meanwhile, Tuesday's banana, which had the tiniest brown speckles on it when you bought it is still made of concrete two weeks later. There's just no telling.

And none of this even takes into account that bananas taste like cinnamon to me these days anyway.


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