Banana the Octopus
A Birthday Tale for My Weird Wife
By Dave Fox
[Foreword: This story is inspired by actual, real-life events – specifically that yesterday, Kattina and I flew from Saigon to Seattle via Tokyo, and the in-flight movies pretty much sucked. So, needing something to do, I made my wife an octopus banana and attempted (unsuccessfully) to put it on her head. Today, Kattina is celebrating a big, jet-laggy day. This story is my birthday present for her.]
Once upon a time, there was an octopus named Banana who lived on an aereoplane.
Banana the Octopus was very fond of humans. He enjoyed giving them facials during long flights, especially if they were seated in economy class.
(For in economy class, the humans often appeared quite uncomfortable.)
One day, a cute human came and sat in seat 24J.
Seven hours into the flight, Banana the Octopus approached her and said, “Hello, cute human. Would you like me to give you a facial, lah?”
(For Banana was a Singaporean octopus, so he talked that way.)
“Ewww!” replied the cute human as the octopus moved a bit too close to her face for what she considered appropriate. “Ummm, I mean, no thank you.”
“Okay,” said Banana the Octopus. “Maybe later. So anyway, how old are you?”
“I am thirty-nine and three-hundred-sixty-four three-hundred-sixty-fifths,” said the cute human.
“Wow!” said Banana the Octopus.
“Why so surprised, lah?” the cute human replied.
(For she enjoyed speaking foreign languages such as Singlish.)
“I thought you were about seven,” Banana replied.
“Seven?!” the cute human gasped.
“Yes,” said Banana. “Or maybe six-and-a-half. It must be your youthful immaturity.”
(Banana the Octopus was actually a pretty bad judge of ages.)
“Tomorrow,” grimmaced the cute human, “I shall turn 40.”
“Why so grimmacy, lah?” Banana the Octopus asked the cute human.
“Because turning 40 feels SCARY!” the cute human sulked.
“But turning 40 might be FUN!” Banana said, attempting to console her, and wishing she would accept his kind offer of a facial. “Turning 40 might be GREAT!”
“I suppose,” the cute human sighed.
“Anyway,” said Banana to the cute human, “tomorrow, will be a joyous day. For tomorrow will be the first day in a long time when you will not have the dreadful thought, ‘OMG! I can’t believe I’m about to turn 40, lah!’ Once it has happened, you will no longer dread its imminent arrival.”
“I don’t actually ever think that,” the cute human said.
“But you just told me you did,” Banana said to the cute human.
“No,” said the cute human. “You have understood correctly that I sometimes fret about the possibility of turning 40. But I do not speak to myself in acronyms or Singlish.”
“Oh,” Banana replied.
At that moment, out the window of the aereoplane, Mount Rainier came into view.
“It’s so beautiful!” the cute human said to Banana the Octopus.
“It is also older than 40,” Banana replied.
“That is true!”
The cute human smiled now. The thought that something as old as a mountain could still be pretty damn awesome made her happy. She now felt ready to take on a new decade.
She realized she was fortunate to have met such a wise octopus on her flight from Tokyo to Seattle.
“Hey!” said Banana to the cute human, “I have a idea! A really great idea!”
“What idea is that?” the cute human asked.
“We should hang out sometime! Maybe we could grab a beer or something?”
The cute human was surprised by Banana’s proposition. (For she did not often drink beer with octopuses.)
“Maybe,” she said.
Alas, the next day, Banana the Octopus had turned mushy and discoloured, and was beginning to smell a bit rotten. For, as it turned out, Banana the Octopus was not actually an octopus named Banana, but rather a banana named Octopus.
Later that day, Octopus the Banana posted a message on the cute human’s Facebook page.
“I regret that I cannot buy you a birthday beer today,” the message said. “For rotten bananas are not allowed to enter the United States without proper agricultural inspection paperwork. But happy birthday anyway. Maybe we can still keep in touch, lah.”
The cute human felt warm and fuzzy inside, having learned an important lesson from Octopus the Banana – that some kinds of creatures (humans and mountains, for example) do not turn mushy and discoloured as fast as other kinds of creature (bananas, for example) do.
With her 40-year-old feet now planted firmly on the ground in Seattle, the cute human gazed off in the distance at a shimmering Mount Rainier, and understood that for her, the 40s had the potential to be pretty cool.
~ The End ~