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The Mast-Head: Banana Bandit Is Back

Thu, 08/25/2022 - 13:05

As August rolls to a leisurely close, a minor mystery has returned to my neighborhood: the Cranberry Hole Road banana bandit is back after a long absence. 

It has been about 10 years since banana peels stopped appearing in my driveway as suddenly as they had begun to accumulate. I am unable to remember even what time of year it was that someone whose daily routine began with a banana started tossing the remains from the car squarely into the narrow rectangle of gravel -- and clamshell, Bonac style. 

Onto this stony canvas, the blackening banana peels stood out like Ab-Ex splotches. None appeared on any nearby driveways. It seemed obvious that this was an ongoing deliberate act.

Doing what one does in these situations, I wrote a column about it. The peels stopped.  

In the last few weeks, they have returned, one by one, there each morning as I go out to look for the paper or take the boy child to camp. Again, there are none on my neighbors' driveway entrances. And the banana-tosser's aim is good -- significantly better than that of the guy who delivers The Times in the morning, without fail, into the tick-riddled brambles. No, the banana bandit knows what he or she is doing.

I don't mind a bit. In fact, I like the performance aspect to it, as if the act of depositing one banana peel a day on a specific spot on the roadside is someone's art, loaded with meaning for them. 

Or not. Perhaps it is just random. Or perhaps the time that it takes to eat a banana after leaving one's own house is so regular that it ends precisely at my driveway. It is littering, yeah, but I don't mind.

This time around, I have been thinking of painting a sign with a banana peel in the center of a concentric red target, as if to join the miscreant in the absurdity of it all. Or I might put out one of those camouflage game cameras, the ones hunters use, to keep an eye on a likely spot. But, in truth, I don't need to know who it is; some mysteries are better left unsolved. This is one of them.

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