I was walking across the office this morning with a banana peel in my hand and I suddenly wondered if people actually slip and fall comically when they step on one, as depicted in slapstick comedies and cartoons. Seriously, has anyone in history ever really stepped on a banana peel, slipped, waved their arms around frantically in the air in a useless attempt to steady themselves, before falling on their ass?
And when they did smack into the ground, did they literally see stars swirling around their head?
There’s gotta be some truth to this, right? I mean, don’t you think?
Although in all honesty, I don’t think a banana peel is particularly slippery. Sure, the skin is smooth, but the interior is sort of gummy. I’d think that would add traction and thereby increase stability, which would actually lessen the odds of a person falling. Personally, I think an errant peach pit is much more likely to cause any sort of bodily harm.
I’ve scared you away from fruit, haven’t I? My apologies.
Hold on a sec – it turns out that MythBusters has actually put this theory to the test. Find out if it’s really possible to slip on a banana peel here!
(If you’re too busy or lazy to click on the link, the answer is no. There’s another myth, busted!!).
And yes, I really did spend an inordinate amount of time today pondering this very thing, which makes me question my sanity.
I was heading to the lunchroom in order to dispose of my banana peel because the trash cans at our desks are only emptied once a week. I’d rather not have a swarm of fruit flies flitting around my face while I’m trying to process promotions or run reports (and yes, the alliteration was intentional).
Warning: Smooth Segue Ahead.
Speaking of the lunchroom, I walked in there recently one morning and encountered an entire group of unfamiliar faces gathered around, kicking back at the tables and eating and helping themselves to coffee and laughing and joking like they owned the place. I didn’t recognize a single one of them, and thought for a moment I had stepped into the Twilight Zone. That was when I realized there’s an entirely separate population housed within the building’s walls – the warehouse crew. Apparently it’s a company mandate that they all take their breaks at the same time, and I never would have run into them if I hadn’t been tossing an empty yogurt cup into the trash in the middle of the morning. It’s weird how office people and warehouse people form two very distinct cliques. It’s almost as though we are entirely different cultures, an observation accentuated by the fact that few of them were speaking English when I intruded upon their domain. They are laborers toiling away in a land prone to extreme heat in the summer and frigid cold in the winter, with danger lurking around every corner (speeding forklifts! CD- and DVD-laden shelves that might topple over at any moment!), while at worst we might have to contend with the occasional paper cut. Plus, we sit around on our asses most of the day.
Offices are funny places to work.
Speaking of “working” and “funny,” there goes my brain again. Off on another odd tangent. Which, by the way, I blame on one simple fact:
Growing up, I never owned a Big Wheel.
This frustrated me to no end. In the 1970s, Big Wheels were all the rage. God, how I coveted one of my own! All my friends had Big Wheels, and I would stare after them longingly as they pedaled past. Granted, a Big Wheel is nothing more than a glorified plastic tricycle, but man, was it cool. That big black tire in the front was downright badass, and the red and yellow color scheme (with a blue seat) was rockin’ and stylish. Plus, you rode really low to the ground, which only served to heighten the experience and bring you closer in touch with Mother Earth.
Or so I’d imagine. I can’t really say for sure since, again, I never owned one.
Sure, I had a bicycle. A blue one with a groovy banana seat. But when you ride a bike down the street, the tires don’t make a loud, rumbling racket when they spin across the asphalt. Yeah, you knew a half mile away when a Big Wheel was approaching. Imagine me, sitting inside my house watching Loony Tunes cartoons and trying desperately to ignore the sound of my friends on their Big Wheels riding merrily along without a care in the world. I love Daffy Duck as much as the next fella, but I’d have much rather been tooling along on my Big Wheel with my friends. I have no idea why my parents never let me have a Big Wheel. They were pretty cool otherwise (although despite my constant pleas, they also never allowed me to indulge in Cookie Crisp cereal. To a kid, Cookie Crisp was like the Holy Grail of cereals: you got to eat a bowlful of chocolate chip cookies floating in milk! I remember going over to my friend Walter’s house one day and not only watching him eat a big bowl of Cookie Crisp cereal, but I had to step around his brightly colored and totally rad Big Wheel parked in the hallway, too. For the record, that was the single most jealous moment of my entire life). Mom and/or dad, feel free to address in the comments section below why you chose to deprive your oldest child of these two great treasures.
At least now I’ve got a built-in excuse for any sort of dysfunctional behavior I might exhibit. Should I ever get caught robbing a bank or vandalizing a synagogue, people will ask, “Why’d you do it, Mark?” I’ll simply throw my hands in the air and say, with a great deal of exasperation, “I never owned a Big Wheel and was forbidden to eat Cookie Crisp cereal.”
Surely they’ll understand.
Have a wonderful weekend, and try not to slip on any banana peels.