Subscribe to all of my blatherings right in your wob browser!Subscribe to my latest 25 blatherings right in your wob browser! Pnårp in print! Made from 35% recycled toilet paper! Send Pnårp your garrulous praise… or excretory condemnation! Tweet! Tweet! Twat! Livin’ it up… on a living journal! A whole book full of my faces? Where gravity itself gets its blog avatar! Red dits? Red edits? Read its…!?
You’re my favorite visitor!

Pnårp’s docile & perfunctory page

Plantago delenda est

Planted on October 17, 2021.

On Tuesday, I again mistook a nippah-pipple for a nappy-pooh—with similarly airless results as last time. After regaining some semblance of consciousness (but only some), followed by flopping around on the floor like a gaffed carp, I was struck by a most irresistible urge: I wanted some bananas.

A lot of bananas.

Alas my hankering for bananas was immediately frustrated: Bananas, like money, don’t grow on trees. They do grow on enormous non-tree plants, however. But they don’t grow on anything—tree or non-tree—anywhere around Bouillabaisse Boulevard. In fact, I wager the nearest banana non-tree is at least a thousand miles away from my fishy little street.

My desire for bananas—now, now, now!—led me to Wikipedia, so I could learn where to find some. My first attempt at opening Wikipedia was, naturally, fraught with failure, as were my second through eleventh attempts. Finally, my computering room in a shambles that mimicked the effects of a bomb having gone off, I was able to both open Wikipedia and browse to the article on bananas. I sat. And I read.

The banana, Wikipedia informed me, is an elongated, yellow, edible fruit—botanically a berry—produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. Bananas (or, “plantains” as those who are plainly insane call them) are noshed upon directly, where they are called dessert bananas, and are also used for cooking. Dessert bananas do not grow in the desert. Bananas can be made into beer, wine, and socks. The banana fruits develop from the “banana heart,” with clusters of them called “hands.” Bananas, unlike potatoes, do not have “eyes,” but they do have “lips” and “noses.” Banana plants can grow as big as a two-storey house; their leaves are big enough to crush your skull if they fall on you. Fried bananas make a tasty snack, split bananas make a wonderful dessert, and squished bananas make a good engine oil additive. Bananas even emit radioactivity at low levels due to their potassium-40 content, with which they are packed to the gills. (Bananas do not have gills, but fish do.) Fifty bananas emit enough radiation to perform a dental X-ray.

I wondered how I could fit fifty bananas in my mouth at once, then dismissed the idea. Last time I took health advice from Wikipedia, I ended up with a hundred oranges jammed in my mouth, with dismally ineffective results. I learned my lesson that time. I didn’t need to learn it again.

My bananal ruminations brought to mind my encounter as a boy with a man curiously named Ernest Entwistle Cheesman. I called him Ernie the Whistlin’ Cheese Man (“Ernie the Cheese” for short), but he was in fact a botanist—one might say, a plantainologist, or even a bananist. He spent his life going from one plantain plantation to the next, studying plantains (and bananas) large and small. He published many books on bananas (and plantains), including Classification of the bananas, Banana breeding at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, and My life as a banana: A bonanza of banal banana facts, factlets, and factoids. He was a real snollygoster all right. And when he died in 1983 they buried him under a pile of bananas.

When I was but a Pnårpling, he had taught me everything I would ever know about plantains (or, “bananas” as the sane call them). But, being the witless boob that I am, I forgot everything by 1984 and now had to resort to the free encyclopedia even a chimpanzee pounding its fist on a keyboard can edit.

And—another revelation—whereas I was a million smoots from the nearest banana non-tree, there was likely a so-called “store” within only a few thousands smoots (and some toes) that would have bananas—or “plantains”—in stock. I was sure I had seen these peculiar places called “stores” before. They were typically stocked with fruits of all shapes and sizes—including the elongated, yellow, and edible. I thought harder, it came to me: If I stood up from my Lazy Slack-Ass® recliner right this moment, I could waddle down to the nearest Spend-O-Mart and soon have in my hands an abundance of bananas.

And so: I stood up. After a brief struggle, I located my shoes, overcoat, over-overcoat, and triple-asshat (which I merrily placed a-head), and then bumbled my way out the door. My plan for plantains would soon come to fruition. I would have all the elongated, yellow, edible fruit I could ever want.

I waddled my way down to the Spend-O-Mart on Alpha Ralpha Boulevard. My Trabi was in the shop again, so a-waddling I had to go. (Far be it for me to blame Wikipedia for my vehicular woes, but after using its erudite pages instead of a Haynes manual to do some minor auto repair, I had two doors, the hood, and all four wheels fly off the poor thing at 65 mph on the freeway.)

Time passed like gas, and soon I was waddle-sauntering my way into the Spend-O-Mart, goose-like and afliver with dreams of bananas and plantains and even banana-tains cascading through my banana seed–sized mind. Immediately, I accosted the nearest clerk, honking and hissing out my demands for bananas at flunce! The goosey clerk, wide-eyed as most are when dealing with yours truly, pointed me in the right direction—a department aptly labeled “bananas” (but, much to my disapproval, not “plantains”). My waddling continued: Soon before me was the biggest banana bonanza eyes ever lay upon. Bunches upon bunches of bananas… plethora upon plethora of plantains. I went wall-eyed.

Upon recovering my aplomb I picked up the first banana—the first plantain—that I saw. It was elongated. It was yellow. It was most likely edible. It was plainly a plantain—a rather plain plantain, in fact. But it would do.

Plantago delenda est! I shouted as I tilted my head back, opened my gaping maw, and downed the starchy yellow berry whole—a highly efficient manner of eating I had learned from my house-geese.

I picked up another. I frowned. I had wanted a boneless banana, but—much like chicken, emu, and malamute—the Spend-O-Mart apparently only had bone-in bananas. I shrugged. A bony banana was better than being bananaless. And at least an actual boner wasn’t distracting me (yet).

Plantago delenda est! I shouted again as I gulped the second one down with equal gusto and glee. I gripped another slippery, curved plantain in my hands, eyeing it greedily, and—

“Sir! Excuse me, sir—!” A sound I had heard only too often when out in public. The anserine clerk was running toward me, her plantigrade motion on a collision course with my plans to eat all the plantains. I swallowed a third one, then a fourth, and then even a fifth, before I was wrestled to the ground and told in no uncertain terms I was banned from any more banana-devouring in the Spend-O-Mart. I squirmed free and downed a sixth, before being booted out on my buttocks by a much larger and less goosey, more bull-like clerk.

My plantain plans were dashed; I was banned (over bananas!) from the Spend-O-Mart for life. I shuffled out of the store, sullen and sad. Where would I find more bananas to guzzle now?

On my way home, I checked the local plantarium: It was full of plants, none were plantains. I checked the nearest Planters peanut plantation. But the planters told me Planters only has peanuts—not plantains. I was becoming desperate—I needed bananas, and fast—but one stern, steely glare from Mister Peanut himself sent me away in a fright. Mister Peanut would brook no witless boobery from me. The day nearing its end, I realized I would have to abandon my bananal plans.

I trundled down Bouillabaisse Boulevard. Forlornly I arrived home and began the long, arduous trek up my long, arduous driveway. And then, before me: A wholly unexpected—unplanned—plantain. There it was in my yard, growing serenely between the cracks in the driveway. It wasn’t a banana plantain—this plantain was one of the weedy little buggers that plague lawn enthusiasts across the nation. But it was called a “plantain.” Good enough for me. It would do.

I dove at the ground, shrieking Plantago delenda est! as my gaping maw closed around the weed. I began chomping at it, dog-like and slavering madly. I tore it from the ground by its roots and swallowed it whole, again goose-like and now gurgling madly (geese don’t slaver). I spotted another plantain and dove at it with equal gusto and frenetic glee. And then another and another. Passers-by on the sidewalk stopped and stared. Off in the distance, a plane full of plantains flew over. One by one I denuded my front yard of every single plantain. Then I went at the dandelions, hawkweeds, and all the other innocent, helpless plants. Not even the grass was spared.

…Plantago delenda est!!