Monday, August 20, 2007

Death and Taxes... and a 300-pound banana

"It's vulgar," says Lucy, an aging woman across the row from me on the KC Transit bus home. Her blue eyeliner was melting into the crows' feet that have been cut at the corners of her eyes by years of hard work and harder living. "I'm gonna write somebody about it. Don't know who, exactly, but somebody."

"It's art!" exclaims a man with silver at his temples in a business suit and an obnoxious tie that seems to perfectly compliment his obnoxious personality.

"Art my ass," retorts Lucy with a snort. "Art's supposed to be inspiring. All that's inspirin' me to do is blush. Ain't no sense in them makin us pay more taxes fer that sort'o mess."

"You don't find a fourteen-foot banana inspiring?" I ask, mirth playing at the corner of my mouth, which seems to be drawing itself into a lopsided smirk of its own accord.

Lucy smiles tenderly at me. I think she likes me, but it's hard to tell with that tough exterior of hers. "It oughta be taken down and burned, I say."

"Well, lucky for you, then - it's temporary. I think it's supposed to come down at the end of the summer."

"God works in mysterious ways," she trails off, turning to look out the window. Sometimes I wonder if Lucy is sane.

Half an hour goes by, and the men in starched white shirts behind us are still talking about the giant paper mache` banana protruding proudly from the side of The Folly Theatre. The piece is called, "Staying the Course" which you may recognize as the ultra-naive anthem sung by our current president and his cohorts. One of the men in white collars finds the name in the article he's been passing around, which brings about a whole new round of argument over the attributes and atrocities of the incognizant fruit.

"All this fuss over a banana," mutters Pea, shaking his head at the noise a few rows back.

"Yeah, but it's a really big banana!" I joke, elbowing him gently. Pea just rolls his eyes.

Like it or not, the banana's not going anywhere for awhile. May as well make the best of it - anybody up for fruit salad?

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