Take the Last Banana by Debra H. Goldstein
When a person comes up to me and says he/she has the perfect idea for a book, if only he/she could find the time to write it, I run in the other direction. The same normally holds true when someone offers me an idea for my writing. Recently, I broke that rule. A friend said, “I have an idea for you. I don’t want a claim on it. You can use it or lose it.”
My curiosity was piqued. This person has a dry sense of humor and from the twinkle in his eye, I knew he felt his suggestion was going to be quite witty. I bit. Holding back a grin, he said, “Take the last banana.”
Apparently, in preparing to leave the beach, his wife realized there was one last banana to pack up. She admonished him to “Take the last banana” and the way she said it amused him. Out of context, it hit me the same way. I don’t know how I’m going to use it yet, but the phrase is simmering on a back burner. At some point, I will come across something in my research or a contest prompt that “Take the last banana” will fit into perfectly.
When I wrote the short story, Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief! for Mardi Gras Murder, the idea of redemption had been floating around my mind for a long time, but it hadn’t fit anywhere. Researching to find a New Orleans flavored story twist, I read articles about the different Mardi Gras parades, Hurricane Katrina, and the various restaurants. A reference to the Mardi Gras Indian parade caught my attention. More research revealed the Mardi Gras Indians were African-America and the parades occurred, but weren’t scheduled. The idea fascinated me and as I worked to figure out when in time to set it and what would motivate a crime, the thoughts of redemption surfaced again. Suddenly, I knew how to associate all of these ideas.
Published in February 2014 as part of the short story anthology, Mardi Gras Murder edited by Sarah Glenn, Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief! is the perfect example of how my thoughts and ideas can gel. I can’t wait to find a way to use “Take the last banana.” Any ideas?