A little girl at the coffee shop today was wearing a sticker on the back of her hand – the little label from a banana bunch. Not Chiquita, it was another brand. In my day, if you were lucky enough to get a stickered banana, you would apply the sticker to your nose and say, “I’m a Banana Nose”. Alternately, if you were feeling generous, you could stick it to your brother’s or sister’s nose and point at him or her saying, “Banana Nose”.
Now that I think about it, I realize that, after Banana Nose had been used a couple of times, I may have been the only kid who found this behavior funny. My family might have just been humoring me the whole time.
I remember when it all came crashing down around us. I gave my overly sensitive little sister the Banana Nose treatment one morning. She’d either forgotten about Banana Noses, or she calculated that plenty of time had passed since the last use of The Banana Nose and decided she might be able to get some sympathy out of the situation. (At the time I probably didn’t considered the first theory.) So she went to our mom and complained, “Jeff called me a ‘banana nose’.” My mother mildly rebuked me, “That wasn’t very nice, Jeff.” I was both disappointed by their flagrant use of selective memory and surprised that someone might consider “Banana Nose” an insult. And that was it – the end of the days of the Banana Nose.