Magical fruit

“No one had noticed him at the table until the first bunch of bananas had been eaten. Aureliano Segundo had come across him by chance as he protested in broken Spanish because there were no rooms at the Hotel Jacob, and as he frequently did with strangers, he took him home. He was in the captive-balloon business, which had taken him halfway around the world with excellent profits, but he had not succeeded in taking anyone up in Macondo because they considered that invention backward after having seen and tried the gypsies’ flying carpets. He was leaving, therefore, on the next train. When they brought to the table the tiger-striped bunch of bananas that they were accostumed to hang in the dining room during lunch, he picked the first fruit without great enthusiasm. But he kept on eating as he spoke, tasting, chewing, more with the distraction of a wise man than with the delight of a good eater, and when he finished the first bunch he asked them to bring him another. Then he took a small case with optical instruments out of the toolbox that he always carried with him. With the suspicious attention of a diamond merchant he examined the banana meticulously, dissecting it with a special scalpel, weighing the pieces on a pharmacist’s scale, and calculating it’s breadth with a gunsmith’s calipers. Then he took a series of instruments out of the chest with which he measured the temperature, the level of humidity in the atmoshpere, and the intensity of the light. It was such and intriguing ceremony that no one could eat in peace as everybody waited for Mr. Hebert to pass the final and revealing judgement, but he did not say anything that allowed anyone to guess his intentions.”

-From One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a wonderful novel that is mostly about a family but partly about the establishment of banana companies destroying parts of Latin America. Knowing this information, I often wonder if a person living in Missouri, like myself, should be eating bananas ever. Especially when I consider that everyone in this state everyone can recognize a banana, a very exotic thing, and probably on ly 20% if that can recognize a pawpaw which is a native fruit. When I read this section of Marquez’s book I think about this Mr. Herbert seeing the magic of this tiger-striped banana and trying to measure and calculate that magic for the purposes of business. Now that bananas are everywhere, have you ever seen such a magical fruit?

"People not Profits"


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