Using a banana spoon.
During a classroom break in 2008, as I sat around a table with a dozen people I had met four days earlier, a young lady pulled a banana from her purse, peeled it halfway, then took out a spoon and began carving the peeled banana into spoon-sized bites. She carried on with general conversation while spooning banana pieces to herself. I’d never seen or noticed anyone eating a banana like that before. My other classmates didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. Another detail will be revealed at the end of this article.
It’s 2021, and something jogged my memory of the incident. Now, thirteen years later, I can say that it is still the only time I have ever seen or listened to anyone eating a banana that way. You’ve probably seen Jerry Seinfeld’s television comedy series. “The Pledge Drive,” an episode from Season 6, featured Elaine’s boss unwrapping a Snickers bar. During an office business meeting, he placed the candy bar on a plate and ate it with a knife and fork. So… yeah. In the Seinfeld show, the knife and fork incident sparked a social crisis on Manhattan Island, where “the smart people” began to eat candy with various cutlery in order to avoid touching.They ate the sweets with their fingers (such as eating M & Ms with a tablespoon).
Perhaps human trends start with a strange habit of an ordinary person. Look up “ten innovations that built ancient Rome” on the internet. Some of the foundations of Rome, an entire global kingdom that rose and lasted for over a thousand years, may surprise you. I was amazed to see the welfare state mentioned, and that some believe it hastened Rome’s demise. In the U.S., we now have a welfare system that is growing well beyond federal control and the workforce’s ability to support it sustains it.
Cultural assimilation was not among the top ten. Taking over the territory of Greece, the Romans took the time to assimilate Greek practices that they thought worked well and revise those that did not. The Greeks were then allowed to join in the newly remodelled culture. This worked, and the practice was repeated whenever the Romans gained a new province (kingdoms that either capitulated or were defeated in combat). This government system was complex, but it did expand, and the Roman civilization outlasted any previous civilization. Graft, greed, dwindling trust in government, and a failing moral compass among Roman citizens all contributed significantly to the empire’s demise and the return of the barbarians.To their ethnic foundation, the shattered items.
So, what was the one detail about the young lady who ate her banana with a spoon that was missing?
She, too, had a peanut butter cookie. She scooped enough peanut butter from the cup with the spoon to cover the first fraction of the spoon’s tip on the concave side. Then she used the rest of the space on the spoon’s concave side to carve out a piece of banana. So she ate a banana and peanut butter sandwich with style and grace, preventing food from getting on her hands. Genius. So far, I haven’t noticed a widespread cultural shift to do what she did.