Monday, May 4, 2009

Come Mister Tally Man, Tally Me Banana

Our freshman dorm room reeked like a cross between overripe bananas and carpet mold. Following a semester at war with hygiene, my body had finally accepted the mold before the bananas so rudely infringed. They didn’t even knock; just settled amongst the festering piles of laundry, potential bed lice, and lingering funk of stale booze.


Oddly enough, my tolerance warmed to the leaky air conditioner doubling as an incubator for mushrooms. And just as I’d relished in the scent of my mother’s lentil soup during saner times, I eventually grew comfortable with the repellently damp stench of that A/C atrocity. In other words, this unventilated shoebox would forever stink like the ass-end of the rainforest, and we could either live in denial or embrace cruel reality. That said, when compared to my buddy’s aspiring Superfund site down the hall – always smelling of warm eggplant and flatulence – our polluted refuge came across like the Four Seasons. Between my fungus and his vegetables, we could have managed quite a trattoria in those days, assuming patrons would overlook the mold (and sudden ambush of eau de banana). When combined, these ingredients spawned a death cocktail of malodorous horseshit.

But then again, what did you care? All things considered, you didn’t have to sleep in that pungent sweatbox, nor allow for disgustingly rank banana peels to slime your radiator grates as they dried; offering the impression that (a) I was banging a Greenpeace activist with a jones for compost, or (b) my suitemates were apes, literally. Nonetheless, when patience became a tedious factor in waiting for the peels to dehydrate, my hair dryer was recruited as an emergency weapon of war. If Steven Tyler could smoke tea leaves to keep in touch with Mama Kin, then a group of moronic eighteen year olds could certainly blow their minds by exploiting the hallucinatory properties of everyone’s favorite phallic crop.

Bananadine, the fictional substance with the asinine name, was the ingredient from which to launch one’s wits into hyperspace. When synchronizing Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ to the ‘Wizard of Oz’ grew tiresome, retrofitting Coke cans into smoke inhalation devices lacked challenge, and erecting beer can pyramids became predictable, an unorthodox produce recipe from a well-burnt baby boomer seized our intrigue. According to Vietnam agitator and ‘Anarchist Cookbook’ author William Powell, banana euphoria could be experienced by scraping the inside of the fruit’s skin, boiling the contents, and smoking the resultant dried powder. Far from ignoring these instructions in lieu of chomping the Chiquita like an obscenely large cigar – one end dipped in lighter fluid and blazing like the Great Chicago Fire – the amenities of a five star kitchen were disappointingly absent from the dorms. A pair of Sub-Zeroes and a Viking range, while nice, would have required creative tiering to the already astronomical tuition costs. As such, abbreviated measures were taken in the quest to purée our brains. Meaning, of course, abbreviated effects were felt. Read: none.

Mr. Powell may have been tooling around his commune with a seven foot gravity bong, clad in an “I ♥ Smoking Bananas” t-shirt, but it didn’t take long for our confederacy of dunces to dismiss him as a crisply toasted lunatic. Said differently, anyone touting the effects of a bogus psychoactive chemical within a how-to guide for explosives manufacturing is a fucking maniac, plain and simple. To add insult to injury, I don’t even like bananas. Not at all, mind you. Not in my cereal. Not in my ice cream. And sure as hell not rolled in E-Z Wider paper. Yet I was now doomed to marinate in the backwash of aromatic dung; staring at glow-stars while quietly awaiting death and praying that my stomach didn’t flip inside-out. To think, I could’ve been catching up on back issues of Shaved Beaver. Or adding extension wings to that beer can pyramid.

If you’re really that intent on frying your head, kid, go sniff some glue.

33 comments:

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

Not even in your cereals??? You horrible, horrible man!

Expat From Hell said...

You are the true Mellow Yellow, MVD! I can't believe you did this, but then I shouldn't be surprised. I thought long and hard about this opportunity once, but am glad somebody gave it a shot. No surprise it was you!

EFH

MVD said...

Hey Alpha - I rely on alternate sources of potassium. Unless one were to serve bananas cold, wherein I might consent to a bite. But we all know that no one ever serves them cold.

MVD said...

Well, Expat, it wasn't my finest moment, but it certainly deserves points for creativity. Of course, we could've used a chem major in that room. My accounting and calculus classes weren't exactly benefitting the process.

If you get the opportunity again, please step forward. It's great blog fodder.

Fragrant Liar said...

I knew there was a reason I didn't date college guys. Too hung up on their bananas.

MVD said...

Hi Fragrant Liar - What an apropos comment, considering you've just wrapped up "Penis Week" on your site.

In addition to collegiates, I might also suggest you steer clear of European males, continuing to squeeze their garbage into painted-on slacks as if 1979 was an endless state of being.

Chris said...

What a smelly picture you've painted. That place must've been crawling with babes. Well, in the words of the immortal Winston Churchill, "Give me a bunch of bananas and a few mushrooms and there's nothing I can't accomplish." Or something like that.

Maybe it was John Lennon who said that.

MVD said...

Chris - It was an impossibly steep challenge to score any T&A in that dungeon. That's one of the reasons I had a hair dryer, btw. I needed to be on my game, always and everywhere.

Ron said...

I could actually SMELL the dorm stench from your brilliant description.

And how sad, that because I live in an apartment building filled with college students...I KNOW that odor, presently.

OY!

And listen, thanks a lot for clearing up about the bogus effects of banana smoking, because back in the 70's I often thought, "ummmm...I wonder if I should try that!?!"

Great post, bud!

MVD said...

Hey Ron - Like I told Expat earlier, if you've still got a bit of that 1970's curiosity, I'd be eager for a live blog (or YouTube clip, perhaps) of your “going bananas.” You’d be a legend in that building once the college students caught wind.

Fragrant Liar said...

Yes, I could have used you as a reference for Penis Week! ;) Next year, eh?

MVD said...

Sounds good, Fragrant Liar. I'll start hanging the weights and elastics tomorrow.

Fragrant Liar said...

Oh, that reminds me! A friend of mine's husband was trying to regrow his foreskin. Talk about weights . . .

MVD said...

Agreed. It can't be comfortable shuffling around with a cinder block dangling at one's kneecap.

Excuse me, is that an anvil in your pocket, or...

Theresa said...

Oh, the things we try when we're young. Reminds me of the time my friend tried to smoke oregano. His theory...if it looks like weed..you know the rest. He should have gotten a clue when it smelled more like pizza than a skunk. Great blog.

MVD said...

Hey Theresa - I do know a guy (he reads this blog) who smoked tea, and a few others (God forgive them) who smoked church palms. Yet somehow, the holy tokers opted out of the banana experiment. As if there was a logical explanation for one over the other.

And lest we forget, Keith Richards claimed that he smoked his mother's ashes. That certainly sets a high capstone for lifetime accomplishments.

Suldog said...

Been there, just as dumb. Aside from real actual high-inducing drugs, the other possibilities tried in our neighborhood were coke and aspirin (which got similar undeserved publicity akin to that of the bananas, and probably resulted in major stomach problems for some of the guys who refused to give up on it after eight of each) and catnip. If cats got off on it, why not us? Needless to say, we didn't.

Jen said...

The smells of college, how wonderful they were. I just remember the fragrant odor of the Phi Delt house's basement where my now husband lived. That wonderful mixture of stale beer, weed, and decades worth of fast food all rolled into one made it a place that often induced light headedness especially when dozens of sweaty drunken bodies packed themselves into it like sardines during party nights. The only thing marginally more disgusting was the sticky film that seemed to coat the floors and every other surface of that basement from the gallons of cheap beer spilled from overflowing kegs and plastic sippy cups.
Young and willing to bathe in our own filth, those college days were a magical time.

MVD said...

Hey Suldog - At face value, I suppose catnip makes more sense than bananas. When doing a cursory internet search on this topic, I had to chuckle over the smoking of "bumwadas" (pine needles wrapped in toilet paper).

MVD said...

So true, Jen, regarding the nonchalance of bathing in our own filth. This kind of indifference generally strikes three times: birth, college, and old age (with college being the head scratcher of the set). I knew guys that probably would've been comfortable wearing diapers throughout freshman year.

bluntdelivery said...

at least it wasn't like my best friend's dorm, which smelt like dirty cigarettes, vomit, and a vintage shop.

MVD said...

Hey BD - Judging from your description, your friend's breath probably smelled like two of those three ingredients. And I’m guessing “vintage shop” wasn’t one of them.

During my junior year, I lived in a house where the ashing of cigarettes on the floor was considered normal behavior, as was lumbering around barefoot.

Haley said...

OMG this was hilarious and brought back memories! I must confess I too have tried smoking banana peels. It didnt work for us. I was told to lay them out in the sun for a few days to let them dry, scrape the insides and smoke it in a pipe or bong. Neither worked actually.
Im the middle of 4 siblings and the things they always got me into! I remember one time my oldest brother walked up to me with a big bottle of robitussin and told me if I drank the whole bottle, I would get the same effects as doing blotter acid...wrong! I threw up all day and night. Im seriously surprised I have any brain cells left from the stupidity of the things my brothers and friends persuaded me to do! Mind you now I was in my teens when all this occured, I believed anything! Growing up on my grandparents farm, we were told about mushrooms in cow patties.....Sorry to say, that DID work, we cooked up plenty of mushroom tea.

MVD said...

Funny stuff, Haley, especially the bit about likening 'Tussin to blotter acid.

The opportunity to ingest mushrooms (psilocybin) never crossed my tattered path, although I'd heard stories of friends cramming them into peanut butter sandwiches to mask the horrific taste. Then again, anything growing on cow shit isn't going to tickle the taste buds. Filet mignon, it ain't.

Matt Shea said...

Ha! College! If Dinkum wasn't taking Mick's discarded Cheeseburger tops to have with his icecream, the rest of us were trying to use then as suction cups to scale the walls of 'E' block. 'E'Block was a veritable cornucopia of attractive design students - those lovely ladies and their fancy computer programs made me and my mates' eight hour bouts on Goldeneye look a little pathetic.

Bob said...

I once knew a guy whose dorm smelled like human feces or was it puke...or was it feces?

Smoking blessed palm...not recommended for one's soul.

Deep down I hope you never return to 'corporate america', you were repressed for far too long.

MVD said...

Hey Bob - If you're referring to my room in the house junior year, it smelled more like sweat and cheese. Sweat, from my roommate's insistence of living in the same clothes all semester. Cheese, from the (expired) foodstuffs he squirreled under his bed for ease of access, dining in repose like a barnyard creature.

The fact is, I'm extremely clean (even when drying bananas), but I always wound up with some filthy bastard.

As for Corporate America, I'm afraid the return is inevitable. Perhaps I'll fall in with a good crowd and we can all go out, smoke palms, down Robitussin bottles, and reflect on the fixed income markets.

Pam said...

Who the F would smoke rotten bananas?

Pam said...

Carmen Miranda would be rolling over in her grave if she knew what you were doing with her beloved Chiquita Banana.

Bob said...

While the smell of your room did come to mind, I was actually recollecting the steaming pile of shit I woke up to, one freshman morning...and you wondered why I spent so many weekends at home?

"Puke? Puked shit?"

MVD said...

Actually, Pam, had Ms. Miranda opted to inhale the bananas adorning her headdresses instead of copious amphetamines & barbiturates, she'd have probably avoided (almost literally) dropping dead at age 46.

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