By now the kids are all settled in school and everyone, students and parents, are getting into some kind of a routine. For hubby and I, this is a “first” in 25 consecutive years. We do not have a child in school … pre, elementary, middle, high or higher school. Yep, we are all done. It feels pretty darn good. No more jumbo boxes of tissue, large boxes of crayons, colored map pencils, fat spiral notebooks, or laptop computers. Oh, I’ll miss the wondrous things our kids learned in school … especially college. For instance, we were sitting around the breakfast table one recent Saturday morning with assorted boxes of cereals, bagels and a bunch of bananas. I was the one having a particularly difficult time peeling my banana. You know the kind I mean. It was ever so slightly green at the stem, which made it a bit of a challenge to peel without getting the top of the banana inside all smushy. I hate when that happens. I guess Ricky, our youngest and a recent college graduate, musta noticed my struggle as I reached for a knife to place a little nick in the stem. Now let’s just say up front the lad is not a “morning person.” He prefers to put words together in complete and coherent sentences right around lunchtime after the caffeine has kicked him like a mule. So I was shocked when Ricky proceeded quite nicely to go into this long, detailed story about how he learned to properly peel a banana while at school. Geez, and all this time I thought we had sent our child to college to get a degree in history. I silently sat back in my chair and wondered … hmmm … what college class did he take to learn that trick … and how much did we pay for the textbook? Oh, and hopefully, Ricky was able to sell that one back to the college book store after the semester was over. As the story unfolded, I learned that no, he hadn’t taken a college elective named Banana Peeling 101. That was a relief. It seems Ricky was sitting in the mess hall a week before his graduation eating lunch with two of his roommates, Ryan and Dan, and Riley, a freshman hailing from Chicago. Ricky was Riley’s mentor. “Dan was gonna eat a banana and starts to peel it from the top, or to be more specific, the stem. But he’s having trouble with it. So then he picks up a knife,” said Ricky, who indicated the only fruit in the mess hall was bananas and apples … and the apples were terrible. So they ate lots of bananas. While Dan was attempting to get at the inside of the banana, Riley got rather agitated and animated. “Dude, what are you doing? That is NOT how you peel a banana. You have to peel it like a chimp does from the other end. Chimps peel thousands of bananas a day. They have been doing it for thousands of years,” Ricky imitated his former classmate. Riley then performed a proper demonstration for the boys by grabbing Dan’s banana and turning it upside down. “You are supposed to pinch the very top of the END, because no matter how green the banana, the end is always soft,” Riley tells the boys at the table. Riley went on to explain how the stem is the toughest part of the banana … because that is where it hangs from the tree. Wish I coulda been there to see the looks on Ricky, Ryan and Dan’s faces while Riley was explaining the anatomy of a banana. “We really didn’t believe him at first. We were actually pretty skeptical about the whole thing. So each of us got up from the table and got a banana. We all tried peeling Riley’s way and it actually worked splendidly,” Ricky snickered. So now you know from a college dude how to properly peel a banana … in the words of Riley, the expert … like a chimp … who peels thousands of bananas a day. Somebody needs to tell Riley’s parents their son might be getting his bachelor’s degree in biology in a couple of years … but the fine print at the bottom of his diploma should surely include a most excellent “minor in banana peeling.” Dixie Frantz is a longtime Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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