Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Banana: A New Symbol of Anarchy

As many of you have probably heard, there was an incident at a Virginia high school recently that involved a 14 year old boy named Bryan Thompson.  During the halftime of a recent football game, Thompson jumped onto the field and began sprinting towards the end zone...while wearing a banana suit.  For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a news report:

Somehow, the fallout from a prank played by an autistic 14 year old/aspiring rapper has been tremendous.  The boy was suspended from school 10 days and recommended for expulsion for the rest of the school year.  Students at the school responded by wearing t-shirts that said "Free Banana Man" to class; they were also suspended or had their shirts confiscated.

At this point, things hadn't gotten quite crazy enough, so the ACLU stepped in on behalf of the students and their right to free speech.  A few days later, Thompson's suspension was lifted and the principal resigned.  By the time NBC reporter Pat Collins interviewed "Banana Man" while wearing a grape costume himself, the insanity of this whole situation had reached a whole other level.

While the educator in me would say that a student should not be allowed to run onto the field at halftime, the mentally unbalanced side of me inexplicably finds someone sprinting across a football field in a banana costume absolutely hilarious.  While the kid needed to be disciplined, it was a pretty harmless prank; 10 days of suspension and a recommendation for expulsion seem like quite a bit of overkill.

But as many of you may NOT know, The Banana has recently been involved in some other high profile incidents of unrest, lawlessness, and spiraling descents into madness.

The Banana initiates psychological warfare on the masses

Two years ago, a video was uploaded to YouTube entitled 'Banana Song (I'm A Banana).'  I have embedded it below, but you should only watch the entire thing if you you don't mind having your soul ripped from your eyes and thrown against the wall.

I can't prove that this video's viral popularity caused some sort of primal banana madness to emerge nearly two years later...but I can offer proof.

The Banana attacks it's greatest killer.

It all began this past summer when a man in a gorilla costume (advertising for a cellphone store) was  ruthlessly attacked by a man wearing a banana costume.  Below is the harrowing 911 call along with an even more epic description of the attack by the cell phone store manager.

This next clip is from a newscast that obtained a low quality cell phone recording of the "run by fruiting."  It also has a transcript of the 911 call (which somehow makes it even funnier) and a news anchor deliver what is quite possibly the worst pun ever broadcasted on network television.

The Banana causes conflict with law enforcement.


About a month later, Beyonce Knowles sister, Solange (yes, that's really her name) was denied entrance into a Miami club because of what she was trying to bring into the establishment; a 5 foot tall inflatable banana.  When Knowles and her hilariously over sized novelty item were rejected at the door, she became irate.

At this point, things actually managed to get weirder.  According to Knowles, a police officer pulled her aside to discuss the matter...and then threatened to pop her inflatable banana with a switchblade.  Knowles and her banana were not taken into custody.

The Banana attacks a hockey player and causes racial tension


A month later, a banana was thrown at a hockey player during a preseason game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Redwings.  The target of the banana toss was Wayne Simmonds, one of the few black players in the NHL.  This lead many to believe that the incident was racially motivated.  The fan that threw the offending fruit was eventually identified and arrested.

The Banana tries to fight an entire football team

On Saturday, September 24, two small colleges faced off in what turned out to be an incredibly exciting game with an even more amazing finish.

Augsburg College traveled to St. John's University on their homecoming.  They rallied from behind by improbably completing an 80 yard drive in 18 seconds to win the game.  While watching the amazing video embedded below, pay attention to the left part of the screen at 1:07.  As the Auggies celebrate in front of the home fans, a very angry banana appears on the field to give the visitors a piece of his mind.

Could there be more social unrest caused by 'The Banana'?

Only time will tell.  I can guarantee you one thing, though:  If I see you walking towards me and you are wearing a banana costume and/or brandishing a potential banana projectile, I will be prepared to stand my ground.

And you will be turned into this.