Banana Laughter


1. Bananas

"Bang!" exclaimed my little cousin, "Bang, bang, bang!" The invisible cowboys collapsed, bleeding on the kitchen floor in agony. His pacifist parents had never once bought Stevie a toy gun or even a toy soldier. The movies he was allowed to watch were strictly G-rated. And yet, here Stevie stood, holding a banana, pointed directly at the imaginary heart of some nefarious villain. 

"Quit it," I said, and took his yellow makeshift gun. "Your parents will see, and then I'll be the one in trouble."

For a full, massive, two seconds, Stevie looked at the banana I held clutched in my hand. Then his face srewed up and he began to sob. I cursed. If his parents saw him crying they would take one look at the scene and declare me guilty. 

I had to get him to stop crying. I feverently wished for a moment that Stevie was the kind of kid who fakes tears. Then I could bribe him into a smile. But unfortunately for me, when he sobs, he means it. 

I needed something to distract him. He was so stubborn, only taking his mind off of it would be effective. "Stevie," I said, "you should never, never, never, ever hold bananas.  They are very, very, very dangerous." I said in a serious tone. In spite of himself, his tears momentarily stopped.

"Dangerous?" he questioned in disbelief. "Bananas are not dangerous," he said, his tone one of absolute certainty.

"Not for people like me," I said snobbily. "Only for little kids like you."

I watched as his facial expression deepened into a glower. To insult a child's age is the ultimate insult. 

"See," I said holding up the banana. "Not dangerous for me at all." I peeled the banana and placed it on a plate.

I then proceeded to accidentally drop the skin on the floor. "Now-" I said.  But it was too late. I was cut off by my slip as my foot landed on the banana.

Stevie burst into giggles. "My, my!" I exclaimed. "See," I jokingly scolded him. "bananas are horribly dangerous."

"What's this I here?" asked my uncle as he sauntered into the room. "What about bananas?"

"Juli slipped on one!" exclaimed my cousin, still laughing at me.

"Bananas are dangerous," he commented as he picked Stevie up. "Right, Juli?"

I nodded. "So are relatives," I thought.

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