Can You Slip On A Banana Peel?

This afternoon, I embarrassed myself. If you’re thinking that is probably hard to do, you’re right. The sad part is, I didn’t do anything that was noticeable. It was just a thought; maybe a subtle action, but nothing more than that.

Banana Peels = Danger

If I put these on the bottom of my shoes, could I ice skate anywhere, even in the summer? (image public domain)

I drove to my gym and pulled in to a parking space. After gathering my things, I opened my car door to hop out. Two banana peels were on the ground next to my car. It looked as if someone before me had arrived at the gym, gobbled two bananas, dropped the peels out of their window and then went in to exercise.

As I stepped out, I thought “don’t step on those, you’ll slip and fall”.

Now, we all know that the proper thing to do in this situation is to ask yourself, or any person within earshot, “what kind of slob does something like that?”. Not me, I’m concerned with self-preservation. I don’t want to fall on my backside.

I avoided falling because of the peels and went inside without any incidents. But I spent my time at the gym questioning my reaction. I’ve no reason to worry about slipping on a banana peel. I’ve never slipped on a peel before, so it seems that I’m statistically unlikely to do so in the future. Of course, my results might be skewed by the fact that I very carefully avoid all discarded banana skins because my feet might slide out from under me if I step on one.

Cartoon Physics

I don’t know anyone who isn’t named Elmer Fudd who has ever gone ass over teakettle (no, I don’t understand why that’s an expression either) after stepping on a discarded banana skin. But while I’m glad I avoided stepping on those skins in the parking lot, it wasn’t because I didn’t want that banana smell following me. It was because I didn’t want to slip on them.

Now, I’m not certain that anyone else avoids stepping on banana peels. Maybe I’m the only one who does it, but I doubt that. I think there are others who avoid fallen banana peels out of concern for their safety. Perhaps those people have moments like I did, wondering if they really should be afraid to step on the left over parts of a banana or any other tropical fruit.

Action. Reaction. Whatever. Get a haircut, Issac. (image public domain)

People like me are living our lives according to one aspect of physics as demonstrated in Warner Brothers cartoons:

For every action (stepping on a banana peel), there is an equal and opposite reaction (falling backward).

We somehow know through instinct that if we are hit in the face with a frying pan our head will not take the shape of that pan, but the banana peel remains an open question for us.

An Appeal For Help

It is time that we put that question to rest. I do not want to live my life in fear anymore.

I want to know, on behalf of people like me, if a banana peel’s inherent slickness makes it a safety hazard due as soon as it lands at our feet.

Your answers to my poll questions and your comments will help me and millions like me.

Or perhaps you’ll just help me.


13 Comments on “Can You Slip On A Banana Peel?”

  1. lbwoodgate says:

    Not sure either how slippery a banana peel is but can vouch for the instability created when stepping in dog poop. And oh, the mental anguish afterwards.

  2. mikegee64 says:

    I once slipped on a banana peel and tried to break my fall by reaching for a small, steel, gas space heater, burning my palms while you and Dad laughed at me.

  3. How does a banana peel react to dry ice?

  4. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Being it was in a parking lot, my first thoughts turned to Mario Kart…

  5. Azaliah says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the reason the banana peel thing is so popular in slapstick is because banana skins, like peanut shells, have been used in the past to care for hard wood floors.
    Peanut shells are oily, and so peanuts would be served and their shells crunched into the boards of certain establishments so as to keep the drunken patrons from becoming hungry, irate, drunken patrons, and so that no one had to wax the floors regularly. Just sweep out the shells, and mission accomplished.

    Banana skins are high in oils, too. However, when these oils become rancid they become actitone. When wax from candles, or paint or water marks or pretty much any hard to clear issue came about on your beautifully waxed, already slick, wooden floor, you could use force and risk a scuff, you could use turpentine and really make a mess of it, or you could use an old banana skin.

    Banana skins aren’t so dangerous today. They aren’t used for this sort of thing any longer, since there are lots of supposedly superior products out there to shift stuff from a wood floor. But in vaudeville days, they were a hazard, and hence the banana peel gag was born.
    Those peels on cement might not have been too dangerous. But if they were stacked, not flattened, or old enough to be separating skin from lining, then you could have slipped, indeed. Not probable, but possible.

    And I’d like to add that I’m great at the game Boulderdash. 😉

  6. April says:

    All I wanted to do was check The Blog Propellant and maybe use today’s prompt, but instead I’m trapped browsing your highly entertaining anecdotes–I’ll accept that trade.

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