Ask a Dilettante – Bananas

When is a banana just a banana?

This reminds me of a joke.

Q – How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A – Banana.

Regarding your question, you must contextualize the banana in order to find the answer. If you are dreaming of the banana, and in the dream you are naked in the produce section while stock boys spray down the melons with those little water hoses, and then later in the dream you are eating the banana, there might be something more to it than just being a piece of fruit. On the other hand, if you’re having lunch with your grandmother, in a dream or in waking life, the banana is probably just a banana. At least, I hope so. I really, really hope so. Oh, unless it’s a Chiquita banana. Then you’re funding terrorists.

My son is doing really well in school. His teachers say he’s a model student, the other kids seem to like him, his self esteem is high. What can I do to teach him that life is not always going to be so kind? I learned that lesson when I was in junior high and had to wear headgear to school every day. Sadly, my son has really straight teeth.

Simple. Pack his banana in this. Ass-kickings will quickly follow.

I used to really relish the attention I got when talking on my portable phone in public. I felt, you know, important. Special. Now even little kids have them, so what can I do to stand out in a crowd?

What era are we talking — shaped-like-a-brick ’80s phones? If you’re unwilling to develop any interesting personality traits or start giving away money or something, I guess you could get one of these phones. It will be sure to attract attention … until everyone is talking on phones shaped like pieces of fruit. Of course, not too many other fruits have the correct shape for this sort of activity. It would be really hard to talk on a phone shaped like an orange. You’d have to keep rolling it up and down your face to talk and listen. A pineapple would be too big. Strawberries wouldn’t work unless you had two — one at your ear and another at your mouth.

Now that I think of it, bananas are shaped just like … phones.

[This column originally appeared in its entirety on Houstonist.]