I Am a Bananaphobe

It is a well known fact that I hate bananas. No, hate is too weak of a word. What is a stronger word than hate? Loathe? Yeah, lets go with loathe. I loathe bananas. Many of my gentle, yet strong (geesh, put on some deodorant) readers have asked just what in the world is wrong with me and why I doth protest the humble perennial herb from the genus Musa. -ed. One of the many wonderful uses of Wikipedia is to make it look like you didn’t almost flunk College Biology.

I was extremely surprised while researching this post that Bananaphobia is a real, honest to goodness, traumatizing affliction. It was reassuring to realize that I’m not a freak (well I am, but I digress) but that others share my extreme fear of bananas and banana by products. People who suffer from this phobia can experience everything from light headedness to vomiting to full blown anxiety attacks. While I’ve never had a aversion so strong that it threw me into full blown panic mode nor have I ever avoided the fruit section of ye olde Kroger, I can testify to the full blown gag reflex kicking in whenever I see or smell that horrible yellow scythe of nasty.

The experts, while wearing their white lab coats and thoughtfully stroking their long billowing grey beards, state that this phobia, like most phobias, is generated through some form of trauma of the non blunt force variety.


As part of my personal reclamation project (long story for another day) I thought it was time to dive into my psyche (No Fishing, Skating, or Swimming) and figure out why I completely and utterly abhor this berry of doom. ed. yes, it is a berry, but seriously, somebody get him off Wikipedia.

I wasn’t always this way. As a small child I loved my nanners and nillas. I ate bananas all the time. I wrote love songs to bananas. I bathed in bananas. Bananas were my life. Until that one fateful day where I became a banana hater for life.

One of my favorite memories of my childhood was going for evening car rides with my great great grandparents. The second great is not great as in generation but as in they were the world’s best great grandparents. We would all pile into my Granddad’s V-8 powered, 8 mile per gallon getting, 1963 Pontiac Bonneville and proceed to putt around Phillipsburg, Kansas for a couple of hours each night during the summer. Our reward for listening to my Great Grandmother berate my Granddad’s driving skills and gossip about whose yard wasn’t weeded correctly was a stop at the Birdhouse Drive-In for milkshakes. For one reason or another on this particular warm summer evening Granddad decided to stop at Terry’s Drive-In on the other side of town. I ordered my usual large nanner milkshake and consumed it with what seemed one mighty slurp of the straw. Terry’s Drive-In was less than one mile from my grandparents home but on that drive home something terribly wrong was brewing in my stomach. I held on as long as I could but sure enough within minutes of leaving the drive-in I was doing my best Linda Blair exorcism imitation with banana milkshake exiting my body with twice the pounds per square inch than which I had ingested it. We never stopped at Terry’s Drive-In again, and I’ve never had a banana anything since.

I guess the fact that I can remember a story from over 40 years ago so vividly that it seems like it just happened today would qualify as a traumatic event. I’m 43. It’s time to nip this annoyance in the bud, if for no other reason so that I can quit annoying my social media followers with daily anti banana berations.

It’s not going to be easy. I just can’t go to the store and buy a bunch of bananas and snarf them down. I’m going to have to ease into this situation. I’m going to have to take that banana pictured up there and place it on my desk and really sell myself on the idea of ingesting such nastiness into my body. I’ll stare at it a few days. Maybe sniff it. Take it on long romantic walks along the canal. Finally, when I have worked up the testicular fortitude, I’ll eat it live on camera. Trust me it will be a media circus.

Oh, by the way, this whole Bananapolis idea? Yeah, it’s still being formulated in my twisted little mind. If I like the banana or even if I get to the point that I can stand sharing my presence with the devil’s berry, I plan on doing some kind of banana centric festival to benefit domestic violence programs in and around Indianapolis. Volunteers Activate!