Is That A Banana In Your Pocket?Posted: May 12, 2014
Not long ago, I volunteered at a fundraiser for breast cancer research. My friends and I were in the refreshment tent at a 10k race and walk. Participants came by at a pretty steady pace to get bagels, fruit and water.
Bananas were a very popular item. Unfortunately, they were also the item in shortest supply. The refreshment tent quickly became a banana free zone. Runners streamed through the tent, asking for and leaving without bananas.
The pace of work slowed a bit between the races and the walk. Another volunteer tidied up a bit during the lull. In the midst of breaking down boxes she found one more banana and put it on the table. When business picked back up, that lone banana sat there for a long time in the shadow of a box of apples. I saw people noticing it. A few even looked as if they wanted to take it but thought better of taking the last banana.
During another slow period, one of the event organizers came through the tent. He picked up a bagel, some water and the lone banana. Then, he did something I didn’t expect. He put the banana in his pocket.
Some people go their entire lives without ever seeing a man stick a banana in his pocket. I’ve been lucky; this is the second time I’ve witnessed such a spectacle. The last time it happened I had stopped in a bagel shop for breakfast while I was working. Because I was working, it wouldn’t have been prudent for me to make any remarks about the event when it occurred. It pained me to keep my mouth shut. I promised myself that if I were ever privileged enough to see someone put a banana in their pocket again I would speak up.
Some people go their entire lives without ever seeing a person stick a banana in their pocket; there I stood, watching it happen a second time. I didn’t hesitate this time. I spoke right up.
I pointed at him. “Did you really just stick a banana in your pocket?”, I asked. He looked confused about why I’d confront him about that and just said “yeah”. I’d expected that when I pointed it out he’d realize that he’d set himself for up the old classic line “is that a banana in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”. He didn’t.
He just stood there looking at me, wondering why I would ask him about putting fruit in his pocket. I asked “don’t you know that joke about “is that a banana in your pocket?””. He just looked back blankly, “no, I don’t”.
“You don’t know that joke about “is that a banana in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” Really?”
At this point I realized that I was dealing with a man who was not all that smart. I decided to let the matter drop. He wasn’t ready to.
“So what’s the joke?”, he asked. I said “that line is the joke, that’s it. There is no more to the joke than that question.” He shook his head. His expression told me he still didn’t get it.
“Ok” he said, “I’m going over to the start line.” He walked out of the tent . The banana was still in the front pocket of his shorts. He was oblivious to the spectacle he was making of himself.