Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We all thought the enemies of the world were skulking in caves in Afghanistan, or hovering over missile-launch buttons in Iran, or lurking in Internet chat rooms, waiting to steal away our children, but we were wrong. Our newest, most dastardly enemy comes from Papua New Guinea.
That's right, good people of Earth. I speak of the banana.
"But that can't be!" you cry. The banana has never done anything to harm me. On the list of insidious fruits, the banana always seemed to be at the bottom, between peaches and kumquats. Oh, sure, maybe some fruits have an evil slant, like that pretentious avocado or the androgynous tomato (we all know you're really a vegetable, you little red punk), but never the banana! Its soothing yellow hue and chalky mildness forms the base of millions of smoothies and ice cream sundaes, and the peel alone has inspired comedians worldwide. How could the banana be wicked?
Well, the answer is simple. Bananas are stealing our water. Though green in color, the banana tree is not a green solution to landscaping. According to David Ellis, who is the editor of The American Gardener, the magazine of the American Horticultural Society, the banana tree is 90 percent water (and 10 percent malevolence), and will soak up a great deal of the moisture directed towards needier, less comedic plants.
"Species such as banana, commonly used in landscaping, come from tropical regions that get a lot of rain," continues Ellis. "These plants tend to have fairly high water requirements." He goes on to encourage Americans in removing their banana trees, hibiscus, impatiens, whangdoodles, and other foreign plants that honestly could be completely fake, and we would never know.
Ellis also writes of a new trend called xeriscaping, which is generally defined as landscaping that looks like Arizona threw up. Technically, it's landscaping that reduces the need for supplemental water, but this is a hard thing for Americans to accept. Picture frolicking and frisbeeing with your children across a gorgeous, manicured lawn of yucca. Or agave. Or neatly-arranged boulders. Or lamb's ear. Or buffalo grass (we're not sure, but this sounds like the kind of grass that spears you through the soles of your shoes).
This may sound bleak to a lot of people who still value the American dream of a perfectly trimmed emerald green lawn, but xeriscaping holds a lot of merit. First of all, it would purge our country of the depraved banana tree. Also, it would help us learn to embrace our native flora (like the Moab woodyaster). And it would save water, which we reportedly all need so much of, although I'm partially convinced that it's just another fad, like antioxidants or not eating carbs or mercury-marinated fish.
Maybe there are some out there who feel that a decision to become more green will have little-to-no effect on the environment. Just a drop in a bucket, they say. We're fine as we are. Well, I'm sorry, but I think we're doing some things wrong, and a small change for all of us would equal a larger change in the end. There is nothing nerdy or obsequious about being environmentally conscious and replacing your leeching landscaping with something a bit more dry. So maybe your bottle green lawn looks a tad more rocky and brown after it's completely replaced with brown rocks. And maybe your banana tree will resent being uprooted by a lavender bush. It's ok. Bananas need to pedal their iniquity someplace else.
In other news, thousands of monkeys marched on Washington today in protest of new anti-banana legislation.

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