Monday, April 20, 2015

Future Leaders Should Go Bananas!

The sun was simply sweltering and I was sitting poolside at one of those golf-prison hotels, trapped between lost and found and nowhere. 

That's when the question first came to mind. It wasn't the result of any great thinking to be sure. And, the thought probably had no source other than the impatient infection of boredom, which arises from waiting on a "next-a.m." flight to someplace you'd rather be now. Comprendez? Done there, been that?

The cosmic question was "Does a banana float?" Not just any banana either. One of those large 16-ouncers which usually only come three to a bunch and end up being much more than your appetite. Well, let's stop right here for the quiz. What do you think? Does it or doesn't it?

"Does a banana float?"
Check the appropriate box:

 Yes  No  Maybe
☐ This is insane.
☐ None of the above.
☐ All of the above.
 Only in ice cream.

I will give you three bits of information which may help you with your answer: 1) you have no clue to the correct answer to that question, because this bizarre thought has never crossed your mind; 2) this is not a trick question; so don't over-analyze it; and 3) there are two important, related questions you must also consider in addition to the first one.

Those two questions are:

1). "If you peel the banana does the peel float?"

 Yes  No  Maybe
 This is really weird.
☐ Need NCUA ruling.
 A and B.
 Only in salt water.

2). "Does the fruit core float?"

☐ Yes No  Maybe.
☐  I’m telling!
 Yes, then no.
 No, then yes.
☐ Only in California.

Give those questions some serious thought. Mark your answers. Don't give up on me just yet; we are heading somewhere with all this! But first, let me finish telling you about that poolside experience....

Naturally, when such an important thought strikes; you are left with few good alternatives. An answer, a solution is almost compelled. I ordered a banana from the waiter. He regarded me with some circumspection, "A banana, sir?" "Yes, a banana." "Is that all, sir?" "Yes, but could you make it the biggest one you have?" "Yes, sir; of course, sir," he said as he backed away toward the restaurant.

In due order, the banana arrived on a china plate equipped with silverware and a red cloth napkin. The waiter appeared distracted and left without comment. I grabbed the banana and immediately headed for the edge of the pool. I strolled down to the shallow end; since, depending on the results of the trial, I didn't want to be searching for a sunken banana in eight feet of chlorine. 

Sitting on the edge of the pool I juggled the
banana a bit, trying to gauge its weight; and, for several minutes, closely and carefully examined the skin and seams for signs of a flaw. Everything seemed to be in order. This was an excellent banana.

Given the heat, you probably wouldn't be surprised if I told you the pool had quite a few occupants. If I told you they were librarians; you'd think I was making all this up – but they were. Their convention was in full swing at the hotel and this was the afternoon break. A dozen or so of them were chatting amiably in the shallow end. It only occurred to me later that they had – cautiously – been watching my arrival pool side, with a banana, for quite some time.

Into the pool went the banana. I had not anticipated the reaction. It had much the same effect as setting off a firecracker at an Israeli bus stop. The pool emptied. It wasn't a slow empty. It was a fast empty; with the librarians not simply retreating, but fleeing the scene entirely. All except one who held her ground (if one can "hold their ground" in a pool?) in the shallow end near the banana. Being garbed in my bathing suit, I guess it helped that she could see I wasn't carrying any concealed weapons. She just looked at me, then looked at the banana, then looked at me, then looked at the banana.

After a pause, she turned to me and commanded in her best librarian voice, "What are you doing?" I cupped my hands and whispered, "I wanted to see if it floated." (Ever wondered why we goo-goo at babies and whisper at librarians – perhaps it's genetic?) She just looked at me, then looked at the banana, then looked at me, then looked at the banana. I mustered up the courage to ask, "Could you retrieve that banana for me?" She just looked at me, then looked at the banana, then looked at me, then looked at the banana. 

"Sure," she said, "if you promise not to do it again!" I wasn't quite sure what she meant by that. I told her I couldn't make that promise; because I fully intended to peel that banana and then throw both parts back in! She looked at me, then looked at the banana, then looked at me, then looked at the banana. I think it was at about that point we became fast friends. She went and got the banana.

Quite a story, huh! Well, hope it has left you with an insatiable curiosity and an urgent need to rush out and buy a banana? You really want to know, don't you? Hope it has fired a banana frenzy in you; because our future, your future is directly related to your willingness to explore absurd ideas.

The future is an idea! It's an accidental encounter between people, courage, and bananas. How do you feel about uncommon ideas? Do you have the courage to throw the banana in the pool? How do you feel about uncommon situations? Do you have the courage to "stay in the pool"? How do you feel about uncommon people? Do you have the courage to trust them? To talk to them? How much faith do you have in uncommon organizations – like credit unions. Better give that banana some thought.  The future is at hand....

"Honey, ... what
are you doing?"
Oh, well; guess we'll see!  But in the meantime,  give some thought to something else which just may happen to you.  Plan now for what you're going to say, when your significant other discovers you alone at home, kneeling beside a bathtub full of water, holding a soggy banana.

..... Better make it good!  


Anonymous said...

"Still not working"?

Anonymous said...

"You're not putting that thing in my cereal".

Anonymous said...

"Have you tried freezing it".

Anonymous said...

"What you have in your hand does not a peal to me".

Jim Blaine said...

Don't know about freezing it... Can see the headlines now: "Titanic strikes banana..."... well you know how the rest of that goes.