Go Bananas

“It’s got to stop,” Wayne thinks, as he tosses the soft apples in the compost bin. He goes through the same process every week. Soft apples, shrivelled peppers, sprouting potatoes, squidgy lemons… Wayne tuts as he disposes of the decaying items. What would his mam say if she saw all the food he wastes on a weekly basis? Last week, he found a pineapple in the drawer of the fridge that he couldn’t remember buying. “It’s got to stop,” Wayne thinks, making a firm decision to change his ways, starting right now.

On the kitchen counter, sitting in various degrees of ripe and over-ripe in the fruit bowl, Wayne sees that he has two bunches of bananas, a dozen altogether. “I can’t throw these away, surely,” he scolds himself, as he recalls some of the many uses there are for bananas. “I can make a few different things with those, actually,” Wayne says as he takes a banana, the freshest-looking one he can see and eats it. It’s delicious. He had forgotten how tasty a simple banana can be. “Well, I’m sorted for breakfast, so!” Wayne reckons. Taking out cereal, he reaches for a banana to slice up and mix in with his wheat biscuits. A splash of milk and it’s turned his standard breakfast into something better. He looks curiously at the remaining bananas as he licks sticky bits from the gaps in his teeth.

“I could probably eat the lot,” Wayne thinks.

As the thought occurs, a little alarm bell goes off in Wayne’s mind. There’s something wrong with this idea. Wayne isn’t sure what it is. “Can’t be that important if I don’t remember,” Wayne tells himself. He has another banana while he waits for his brain to catch up. Wayne flings the empty banana skin across the kitchen at the compost bin and misses, landing it between the bin and the door to the living room. He shakes his head, disappointed at the poor throw. Wayne grabs another banana, removes the skin and tries again. This time, the throw connects with the middle of the lid, dropping the skin inside while the lid spins around and around. Wayne celebrates by chomping down the leftover banana.

Inspecting the bananas that are left, Wayne reckons there are maybe three which have strayed into over-ripe territory. He gets to work. The menu for today is all about bananas. Banana bread… wait, no, banana bread muffins! Wayne makes a mixture and sets the muffin tray in the oven to bake. While those bake, Wayne peels two bananas and gets some frozen fruit from the freezer to make smoothies. A quick spin in the blender later, there’s a small jug of fruit smoothie for Wayne to enjoy as he pleases. Wayne feels a real sense of satisfaction. He’s whipping up a storm in the kitchen today. For lunch, he butters two slices of bread and cuts a banana into thin pieces for the filling with a nice cup of tea to wash it all down. Maybe it’s the bananas or his work in the kitchen, but Wayne begins to feel both full and drowsy at the same time. The oven buzzer goes off. Wayne removes the muffin tray, placing it on the counter. With the way he feels, he decides to let the muffins stand and go for a lie-down on the couch…

Wayne hears a phone ring. When he answers, it’s Chief O’Reilly on the other end of the line.

“Is that you, Wimp?” Chief O’Reilly bellows down the line.

“Eh, Wayne?” Wayne replies, somewhat unsure of his own name.

“Wimp, Wayne, all the same,” the Chief retorts, apparently short on patience. “Look, General Blight is running riot in the city and we urgently need the help of Bananaman. Please send him as soon as you can, but hurry!”

“He’ll be right there!” Wayne replies, placing the receiver down. A crow named Crow appears by his side, holding a banana in its beak. Wayne nods, taking the banana and eating it in great, big bites. With a quick spin, Wayne is transformed. He catches his reflection, a bright blue suit and shining yellow cape and cowl. He is Bananaman!

“Ever alert for the call to action!” Wayne as Bananaman shouts, as he runs to the back door and takes to the skies…

Wayne wakes up suddenly on the couch, sitting upright before resting back down into a lying position. “What was that dream all about?” Wayne wonders. “How many bananas have I had?” He looks around for his phone and, finding it in his pocket, looks up the effects of eating bananas. The first thing that pops up as he’s typing is “Can you die from eating too many bananas?” Wayne shakes with panic. How many bananas has he eaten? He clicks on the link… and, apparently, a person would need to eat nearly 250 bananas to have consumed a poisonous level of potassium. Wayne is relieved. He browses further to find that a far more common side effect of eating bananas is to feel tired or sleepy. He laughs to himself, feeling silly for fearing that eating bananas could have been fatal. “Honestly, if that killed me, it’d just be…” Wayne tries to find another word, but he can’t avoid the most obvious, “…bananas. It would be though… No one has ever been harmed by a banana, surely…”

Stretching and yawning, Wayne shakes himself awake as he makes his way into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes. He doesn’t see the banana skin he threw earlier that missed the bin, still on the floor just inside the doorway. Wayne slips on the banana skin and lands arse-first onto the kitchen tiles.

Bananas are good for you. It’s the skins that are dangerous.