Confession is a catharsis for the soul, and I am relieved to drop the burden of keeping this habit secret. Don’t judge me harshly; it could easily happen to you. Read on and learn.
My fall into the well of horrors began sometime in the 1980s. A friend working in the cubicle across the aisle asked me to save Chiquita banana stickers for one of his children because their school would get a football if they gathered enough. Easy request for me because I eat lots of bananas, almost all Chiquitas and only a few Doles, and each has a sticker.
The school collection eventually ended, but the habit has had me by the throat ever since. I cannot throw away a banana peel without first removing the sticker. What do I do with all of them? I stick them in hidden places: under a desktop, on the back of a drawer, on the ceiling by a light fixture. They are my marks, proving I was there, like a a tomcat spraying his territory, like writing “Kilroy was here.”
Or perhaps I am subconsciously in love with Chiquita Banana. Sure, she has a fat neck, but her skin is so, so smooth. And dancing. Always dancing in those tiny heels.
Do the math. Four bananas a week for about 40 years—that’s a lot of stickers spread throughout the environment. When I discover an old lamp stored away in the attic, I turn it over and find a banana sticker. When I repaint the bathroom door, I find a sticker on the top edge. When I clean pieces of broken M&Ms from my desk drawer, I find a sticker on the back. All places where I had been before.
Can you find one in Longwood Gardens? Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but nothing is sacred to a sticker addict. (They peel off easily, anyway.)
When they close the lid on my coffin, leave any stickers you may find on it. I want to take them with me. Maybe I’ll sneak one on the Pearly Gates. If you see one as you pass through, you’ll know I’m already there.
The building where I first worked in Wilmington was recently torn down. All I could think of was of the several Chiquita banana stickers somewhere in that pile of rubble. They would be on the ceiling tile grids, right above my old cubicle.
I expect in 5,000 years or so, an object with one of the banana stickers will turn up in a museum somewhere, and experts will debate the significance of the topless female banana icon with a fruit hat, dancing and shaking maracas, who should never be placed in a refrigerator. I kid you not.
I’m Chiquita banana, and I’ve come to say, you have to love me in a certain way . . .
Oo, oo, I will, I will! However you like it, baby.