Queen Elizabeth and bananas: My pet bonkers belief about fruit is one I'm sure Her Majesty must share – Laura Waddell

It has come to my attention that the Queen eats a banana with a knife and fork – or so her former chef claims. Finally, something we have in common: I too believe eating fruit in public is vulgar.
Al fresco bananas with nary a knife or fork in sight (Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images)Al fresco bananas with nary a knife or fork in sight (Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images)
Al fresco bananas with nary a knife or fork in sight (Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s not really a texture thing. Mostly, I just can’t bear the thought of exposing something so pure, good and sweet to this terrible world. No wonder the bare flesh of an apple starts to discolour in an instant.

It knows the moment its skin is bitten off that it doesn’t want to be exposed to all this. I respect a rusting gala, a furious golden delicious, for protesting the only way they can the indignity of being consumed on public transport.

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I avert my eyes from the grim sight of an easy-peeler’s torn-off outer. Picture it scattered haphazardly in orange curls across a grubby grey train table. Urgh! It’s a contrast I find unbearable; the purity of fruit in an environment so dirty, grimy, dusty, polluted, and generally gross.

Trains especially have a fetid atmosphere that seems to cling to the moist, porous surface of fruit before it goes down the gullet. As for workers who eat fruit at their desks, well, they should be given more time off, so they can eat their fruit in optimum conditions of both privacy and leisure, as God intended.

There I invite you to really go wild on some strawberries or plums. Get as juicy as you like. See, it’s not a Calvinist thing. But really, I know that abhorring fruit-eating in public is my problem, and it’s my own responsibility to simply redirect my gaze. It’s not a standard I expect others to live their lives by – tasteless oafs that they are.

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I WhatsApp a friend for her thoughts. “I think a grape is acceptable,” she types. “But what if it rolls away and gets all dirty?” I reply. “Same could happen to my Hula Hoops.” “They’re dry though,” I scream inside my own head. “It’s different.”

The key to maintaining a pet bonkers belief is that these things need very little airing. Like fruit itself, you don’t want to be spraying all that zestiness around in public places.

You don’t want someone to talk sense into you; you don’t want your belief to dry out. The best thing to do is to share it seldomly, emotively, and involuntarily, so that the people in your life who consider you reasonably well adjusted are taken by surprise when they find out you harbour this inflexible, but inconsequential, mad little belief.

Ideally, it should come across as a curious aberration from your otherwise lucid and placid nature. Another friend has a deeply felt opposition to dogs as pets and whenever it arises in conversation I am surprised and delighted all over again at how completely barking his theory is, and again at the realisation he is serious.

Like a sourdough starter, mad little beliefs need just a modest feeding every once in a while; too much poking and prodding could ruin the whole thing. Left to be, with minimal tending, your mad little belief will continue fermenting contentedly over the years.

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