Tell Me a Story about…Bananas
This past weekend, I was thinking about doing another edition of “tell me a story…” (see sample past posts here and here) in which I give you a random word and you tell me whatever anecdote or thoughts that word triggers for you. I do it occasionally when I’m sitting around with friends and the stories that emerge never fail to be interesting.
Serendipitously, while I was on Twitter today, regular PCNerdherders Poncho and Christine asked me if I’d consider playing the game again so I thought, Yes, let’s. I hollered to the hubster to give me a random word and since he was eating breakfast, he said, “Banana!” A story about banana it is.
When I was a kid living in Saigon, my family would visit my paternal grandparents every weekend. I enjoyed these visits because Grandpa always had Lifesavers candy for me and my siblings. We didn’t even have to share; he’d give us each our own roll. In Vietnam, this American candy was rare so it was a very special treat for us.
One day, my mother decided mid-week to take us for a visit. Grandpa didn’t have a phone (most people didn’t back then) so we showed up unannounced. He was dismayed that he didn’t have any candy on hand for us kids despite my mother saying he shouldn’t worry about it, that we’d gotten plenty from him in the past and could certainly do without for once. But Grandpa was determined to give us treats. He put on his hat, announced he would walk to the market (most people walked everywhere then, too), and asked us to wait for him.
He came home much later, smiling triumphantly, his neck sunburned where the hat didn’t cover it. He said, “I couldn’t find Lifesavers but I have something else that’s delicious” and held up a bunch of bananas. My grandfather loved bananas, something inherited by my dad but not necessarily us kids. I could hear my brother and sister groaning and will admit I was disappointed, too.
But then I looked at him, having just returned from a long walk on a hot day, that big smile breaking up his lined face. So I said, “I’ll have one.” Grandpa gave me a banana longer than my arm (I was a small child) but I was determined to eat that whole thing and made yummy noises to show how much I was enjoying it. And then I asked for a second one. Since no one else was having any, I ended up ingesting four to show Grandpa how much we appreciated his treat.
Afterward, I had a belly ache on the way home but I think it was worth it to let my grandfather know his trip to the market wasn’t wasted. And surprise—I learned to love bananas!
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