Monday, August 13, 2007


do you remember that scene from "The Lion King" in which Rafiki (the crazed old babboon advisor) gives Simba some ridiculously cryptic advice and then skitters off across the plain, chanting nonsense about squashed bananas to himself? Simba looks dumbfounded and a bit sour-faced afterwards.


well, i re-enacted it. sort of. mostly, i made a squashed banana and a sour face.

in my defense, let me open by saying that i have no recollection whatsoever of putting a banana into my briefcase. i've been on the road a lot lately, and i've also had my sister's ex-service dog living with me. either of those could be the ultimate reasons for the stray fruit. it's possible that someone handed me a banana, either my girlfriend as i was dashing off to the airport, or one of those nice people who keeps the continental breakfast stocked up and clean at my hotel. it could've even been one of my students. any of those people also could've simply put the banana on top of my bag and then the unattended banana could've fallen into the bottom of the bag.

my sister's ex-service dog (who has been visiting my house since hers was invaded by a screaming baby) likes to pick things up and bring them to people. part of her training, you know, to be useful and bring you your dropped cell phone or keys or wallet or whatever. she's very good at it, and your articles arrive at your feet drool-free and with no extraneous tooth-marks. this is much more than i can say for my own black lab, who only brings me things when she wants them thrown back out so they can be retrieved. molly mauls everything she gets her slobbering jowls around. and lest you think you could outsmart her by using something clearly bigger than her head, like a basketball, let me assure you that she's popped her share of basketballs. poof. not bigger than her head anymore, and much more satisfying as a chew toy that way.

so somehow a banana ended up in the bottom of my bag. and apparently, it stayed in reasonably healthy and unharmed state for some time there while i had a travel respite. i was home for almost three whole weeks attending distance learning classes and filing expense reports and other hateful forms of paper-based torture. so back out on the road i went... and i noticed an odd smell when i was on the shuttle from my parking lot to the terminal. it was kinda like kettle corn, sweet and salty. when it got stronger, it was more sour. i thought it was an odd smell for a shuttle bus to have. then i got to the admiral's club to have a drink and dinner and wait for my (delayed) flight to board. and i smelled that smell again, but stronger, it seemed. i thought i must've gotten something on my shoes or my hands or something. so i washed up and checked my clothes for odd spills. finding nonesuch, i thought that was the end of it. then, when i was sitting on the plane i went to put my computer back into my bag and i smelled that odd smell again, but strongly. it was now unmistakably coming from my bag. it was sweet-ish, but also kinda sour, like vinegar.

and then i did something extraordinarily stupid and one which i caution you never to try. i put my hand down in my bag to find out what was making it smell like that. my fingers squished into the banana... or what was left of it. i pulled it out of my bag, which was also stupid, but i couldn't very well leave it in there, could i? i made a dumbfounded face, a brief visual inspection ensued, and i quickly identified it as fermented squashed banana. the lady next to me made a sour face and nearly blew sprite out her nose. she seemed to be laughing, but i'm going to go with "laughing at" rather than "laughing with" here. i quickly found an airsick bag and disposed of the former fruit.

on landing, i got to my hotel and removed the rest of the squashed banana from my bag. alas, there was no way to clean the bag with the materials and facilities available to me in the hotel. which is really alright, because after a year's use, the bag was starting to wear out. so i chucked it. i went to work the next day with my (recently washed) gear shoved into the plastic laundry bag that hotels always have hanging in the closet. that afternoon, i stopped by my friendly neighborhood office supply store and bought myself a new bag. i like it better than the old one, too. it's comfier in the shoulder straps, and it spreads the bulk out so it's easier to fit underneath the seat in front of me.

1 comment:

me said...

skilz baby ... you gots 'em