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The Flat Cap on ... Bananas

Today The Flat Cap has been looking at bananas and paid a visit to a local greengrocers to find out more about this popular fruit. As well as yellow bananas it says on ‘Wikipedia’ that there are also pink and scarlet varieties, but the lady behind the counter told The Flat Cap to “piss off” when he asked what colour her bananas were. Un-ripened bananas are green by the way.

The important thing to remember about bananas is that they are like plantains but different. Inhabitants of parts of Africa, Central and South America eat a lot of plantains and these people’s surnames usually consist of very many letters which would score highly in a game of Scrabble. Biblical names are also quite popular in some of these countries due to Christian missionaries visiting them in large numbers during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Perhaps the most notorious missionary was Joyce McKinney who allegedly abducted a man from the steps of church meeting house, drove him to a cottage in Devon and proceeded to chain him to the bed. This was in 1977 before the internet; so in those days you had to buy a newspaper if you wanted to know what Joyce looked like.

As well as real bananas there are also inflatable bananas. Since the late 1980’s fans of the football team Manchester City have been characterised by their yellow inflatable bananas and inflatables are often seen at the club’s cup games. From the 1988–89 season inflatables of all shapes and sizes soon become commonplace at many English football matches. More sturdy inflatable bananas towed behind speedboats are a popular tourist attraction. Actor Sir Michael Caine appeared in the film Jaws: The Revenge which featured a scene where people riding on a banana boat were attacked by a giant shark. Not a lot of people know that.

The Flat Cap spoke to a man called Bob at a farmer’s market, and he was able to provide some amazing banana related facts:

  • Dwayne Porter of Waldwick, Iowa holds the world banana eating record – 26 bananas in three minutes

  • British Banana supplier “Fyffes” received its first consignment of bananas in September 1888

  • Bananas appear in 3% of all online computer games

  • There are over 6,000 different recipes for banana cake

  • The only place you can legally elect a banana to political office is in a banana republic

  • Bananas are used as a substitute for a penis in many countries

  • The Banana Splits comprised Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky

  • The word banana comes from the Arabic word “banan”, meaning finger

  • Until 1933 it was illegal to dress up as a banana in certain states of the USA, but the law was repealed after employees of a multinational banana company attended their Christmas party in home-made banana costumes

  • On average each person in the UK eats 10 kilos of bananas a year – about 100 bananas

  • When asked what he wants to go in his packed lunch box The Man from Del Monte says, “yes” to bananas at least twice a week

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