Skip to main content

How Bananas Turn Brown

My family doesn't like brown bananas. They prefer the bright yellow ones with a slight greenish tinge. The kind where they're still bitter because they're not yet ripe.

I'm the only one who likes brown bananas. Not icky brown, when they're completely mushy, but when they start getting their spots. Like a leopard.

"Bananas are not like leopards," said my son. At age ten, he usually believes everything I tell him, but he wasn't buying this one.

"Sure they are," I said. "Bananas are like leopards. When they're born, they don't have any spots. They're smooth and brown, kind of orange. But as they get older — and this all happens within a few hours after they're first exposed to sunlight — their spots begin to emerge."

"Daddy, I don't think that's how leopards work."

"Sure it is. They kind of work like fawns, only in reverse. When a fawn is born, they have spots."

"What's a fawn?"

"A baby deer."

"You mean like Bambi?"

"Yes, like Bambi. And leopards are like that, but only in reverse. When a deer is first born, it has spots. But because their fur is so short, you can see the spots on their skin, and it gets on their fur. As the fawn grows bigger, their fur grows longer, their mothers get shot by hunters, and they finally grow out of their their spots. But leopards work the opposite way — as they grow, they reach their spots, and those appear on their fur."

"But that's not what they said on the Discovery Channel," said my son.

"What does the Discovery Channel know?"

"A lot. They're a TV channel. You have to know a lot to have a TV channel."

"That's not true. To have a TV channel, a group of greedy investors come up with a way to get advertisers to give them a lot of money. Since no one will just pay to put commercials on a station that shows nothing but commercials, they need to put something interesting on. So, someone made a TV station for sports, and someone made a TV station for food, and then someone else made a TV station for cultural and artistic programs. And then those people decided there was more money to be made in programs where people wallow in their own filth and misery, and they took the culture and art away."

"What are you talking about?"

"Bananas. Now pay attention."

"What do TV stations have to do with bananas?"

"A lot. You know that food channel I mentioned?"


"Well, bananas are food. Now let me finish. The station owners come up with some terrible programming they think a lot of people will watch. If a lot of people watch, they can sell air time for a lot of money so advertisers can reach people who like terrible TV shows. And the dumber the shows, the more people will watch, which means they can charge more for ads. And that's what it takes to have a TV station."

"But what does all that mean?"

"It means you can't believe everything you've seen on TV. Which means all that BS you heard about bananas from the Discovery Channel—"



"Leopards. I learned about leopards on the Discovery Channel."

"Well, I'm talking about the Food Network and bananas. You see, bananas turn brown, because they're reaching full maturity. When a banana starts getting brown and spotty, that's when it reaches its peak, because it tastes more like a banana than any other time in its life."

"But why?"

"Because all the true essence of the banana flavor is in the skin. And when it has a chance to sit, it soaks into the banana, filling it with flavor, sort of like how you let a wine age. When a wine ages, it pulls all of its flavor from the oak barrel and all the different fruits they put in the wine barrels."

"Fruit like bananas?"

"Absolutely. A lot of wine is made with bananas. Anyway, as the flavor runs out of the skin, it gets empty in that spot, and the skin turns brown."


"You bet. So when the banana turns a really spotty brown, like freckles—"

"Or a leopard?" asked my son.

"Yes, like a leopard — then that means the flavor has run out and it's ready to eat."

"Are you serious?"

"Hand to God, son. Hand to God."

My wife, who had been reading on the couch, finally spoke up.

"If you don't know how something works, just say so," she said. "This is why I don't let you do home school with the kids."

The second edition of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), and my other book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing are both available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.


Like this post? Leave a comment or Stumble it.


Popular posts from this blog

AYFKMWTS?! FBI Creates 88 Page Twitter Slang Guide


Did you get that? It's an acronym. Web slang. It's how all the teens and young people are texting with their tweeters and Facer-books on their cellular doodads.

It stands for "The FBI has created an eighty-eight page Twitter slang dictionary."

See, you would have known that if you had the FBI's 88 page Twitter slang dictionary.

Eighty-eight pages! Of slang! AYFKMWTS?! (Are you f***ing kidding me with this s***?! That's actually how they spell it in the guide, asterisks and everything. You know, in case the gun-toting agents who catch mobsters and international terrorists get offended by salty language.)

I didn't even know there were 88 Twitter acronyms, let alone enough acronyms to fill 88 pieces of paper.

The FBI needs to be good at Twitter because they're reading everyone's tweets to see if anyone is planning any illegal activities. Because that's what terrorists do — plan their terroristic activities publicly, as if they were…

Understanding 7 Different Types of Humor

One of my pet peeves is when people say they have a "dry" sense of humor, without actually understanding what it actually means.

"Dry" humor is not just any old type of humor. It's not violent, not off-color, not macabre or dark.

Basically, dry humor is that deadpan style of humor. It's the not-very-funny joke your uncle the cost analysis accountant tells. It's Bob Newhart, Steven Wright, or Jason Bateman in Arrested Development.

It is not, for the love of GOD, people, the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I swear, if anyone says Monty Python is "dry humor" is going to get a smack.

Here are some other types of comedy you may have heard and are just tossing around, willy-nilly.

Farce: Exaggerated comedy. Characters in a farce get themselves in an unlikely or improbable situation that takes a lot of footwork and fast talking to get out of. The play "The Foreigner" is an example of a farce, as are many of the Jeeves &…

What Are They Thinking? The Beloit College Mindset List

Every year at this time, the staff at Beloit College send out their new student Mindset List as a way to make everyone clutch their chest and feel the cold hand of death.

This list was originally created and shared with their faculty each year, so the faculty would understand what some of their own cultural touchstones might mean, or not mean, to the incoming freshmen. They also wanted the freshmen to know it was not cool to refer to '80s music as "Oldies."

This year's incoming Beloit freshmen are typically 18 years old, born in 1999. John F. Kennedy Jr. died that year, as did Stanley Kubrick and Gene Siskel. And so did my hope for a society that sought artistic and intellectual pursuits for the betterment of all humanity. Although it may have actually died when I heard about this year's Emoji Movie.

Before I throw my hands up in despair, here are a few items from the Mindset list for the class of 2021.

They're the last class to be born in the 1900s, and are t…