Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On Bananas and Toilet Seats

I have been perplexed for weeks. Every time I go to the Japanese supermarkets, they are cleaned out of bananas. There are miles of other staples, like pickled seaweed, miso, sake and bonito (dried fish flakes), but no beautifully ordinary, run-of-the-mill bananas. Oh stop your whining, you might say. Just buy them at the commissary!

You should know that military bananas, once they have been toted across the Pacific, look like they have been used to pry open the box they were sent in. Or, if they are still intact, they are dark green. You take them home and two days later...Voila! They are brown and mushy. Defying all logical banana methodology, they just skip the yellow stage.

Woefully, bananas are only the beginning of my story. Don't even get me started on the garlic!

Okay, I'm started...so here it goes. For 2 months running, it has been wet and rotten, yet is selling for $6.59 a pound. (You don't need to adjust your bifocals, you read that correctly the first time.) Shocking, non? Mais si! I know you have to be insanely curious: Can one actually sell rotten garlic for $6.59 a pound?

Why, yes. Anything is possible in the same magical contracting world that billed the government (and received) $1000 for one toilet seat. Someone, somewhere, somehow thinks it's completely okay to contract for inferior produce, transport it, unpack it, smell its rankness and then display it under an obscene dollar amount. I am assuming, though, that in regard to the toilet seat fiasco, the product didn't stink and had no price tag hanging from it when unpacked. Given the choice, I would definitely waste my money on the toilet seat every time. It just seems like the better deal.

But I digress. After pondering the whereabouts of all the Japanese (delightfully tasty and yellow) bananas for several weeks, I finally unlocked the mystery and apprehended the cultural culprit...

It's the Banana and Warm Water Diet!

A Japanese actress lost 20 pounds on said "diet" and now the NBC (National Banana Consumption) has risen by 40 percent. All you have to do is eat a banana for breakfast and in the evening, accompanied by a glass of warm water. The weight just falls off, apparently.

The medical community is torn about the science involved in such a miraculous claim. Is there really something in bananas and warm water that breaks down fat and facilitates weight loss? It happened for one actress, who I am positive is not concerned with self promotion, therefore it must be true! And Lord knows that this size 2 nation needs to drop a few pounds...they used to be a size 0, so, whatever it takes.

I can't help thinking, though, that the real tragedy in all this is twofold. Not only do I not have bananas for my cereal, but the Japanese public has also been distracted from discovering the only medically proven, appetite suppressant/weight loss program in the world: Shopping at your local military grocery store.

1 comment:

TMRA said...

Great story!! I was just getting ready to blog about bananas, garlic, AND ginger!! Ginger is approx 9.99 a pound. It's highway robbery!!
Ginger and garlic are essentials in indian cooking...it's probably cheaper to just order indian food in :)