Slicing a banana
In 2008, during a classroom break, as I sat around a table with a dozen people I’d met four days earlier, a young lady took a banana out of her bag, peeled it in half, then took out a spoon and started digging peeled banana into spoon-sized pieces. She was carrying on a normal conversation while eating pieces of banana. I had never seen or heard of anyone eating a banana like this before. My other classmates didn’t act as if there was anything unusual about it. There was one more detail that I will reveal at the end of this article.
It’s 2021 and something triggers me in the memory of the event. I can now say, thirteen years later, that it is still is the only time I’ve ever seen or heard of anyone eating a banana like that. You may be familiar with the television comedy series Jerry Seinfeld. Season six featured an episode titled “The Pledge Drive” in which Elaine’s boss unwrapped a Snickers Bar. He put the candy on a plate and ate it with a knife and fork during a business meeting in the office. So yes. On the Seinfeld show, the knife and fork incident sparked a public consciousness on the island of Manhattan, in which “smart people” began using different cutlery to eat candy in order not to touch the candy with their fingers (like eating M&M’s with a tablespoon ).
Perhaps human tendencies begin with the peculiar habit of the individual. Web search, “Ten Innovations That Built Ancient Rome.” You might be surprised by some of the foundations of Rome, a world-class empire that rose and lasted for over a thousand years. I was surprised to see the welfare system listed and that some attribute it to hastening the eventual fall of Rome. In the United States today, we have a welfare system that is expanding beyond both government control and the ability of the workforce to support it.
Cultural assimilation does not make the top ten. Beginning with the province of Greece, the Romans took the time to assimilate the Greek practices they believed worked well and try to revise those that did not. Then they invited the Greeks to participate in the newly rebuilt culture. This worked and the practice continued whenever the Romans acquired a new province (kingdoms that capitulated or were defeated in battle). This system of government was complex, but it expanded and the Roman civilization endured far beyond any previous civilization. Bribery, greed, declining trust in government, and a failing moral compass among Roman citizens contributed greatly to the collapse of the empire and the return of the broken pieces to their tribal origins.
So what was the missing detail about the young lady eating her banana with a spoon? She also had a cup of peanut butter. With the spoon, she scooped up enough peanut butter from the glass to cover the first quarter of the tip of the spoon on the concave side. She then used the remaining space on the concave side of the spoon to carve out a piece of the banana. So, she actually ate a banana and peanut butter in one bite, with style and grace, avoiding getting food in her hands. genius. So far I haven’t found a popular trend to do what she did.