Friday, January 26, 2007

My banana has a melanoma, and other geekery

Whilst (!) making lunches for the assorted family members this morning, I did the right thing and plucked a banana or 3 from the bunch and distributed them amongst the coolers and brown paper bags we choose to carry with us to work/school. I then turned to other things, leaving my banana alongside the yogurt I also planned to take with me.

That's when I saw it. The banana melanoma. A huge oval of black on an otherwise perfect banana skin. A malignant looking thing, a pox in my gorgeous banana. I KNOW that there's a patch of rot under that banana cancer that's composed of seeping watery brown banana-goo, I just KNOW it.

And yet - I also know that I'm going to take that banana to work with me in just a minute. I'm going to eat around the melanoma, and then take the icky spot to the kitchen and microwave the fetid juices out of its dark black heart.


Because.I.Can. Because I feel like it. Also, and mainly, because I'm kind of interested in what happens when a banana melanoma gets nuked.

Hi! I'm a geek with anger issues. Love me as I am, or take your toys and go home.


A number of years ago, I worked as a research scientist doing "bench work" at a large pharmaceutical company. I worked for a young single PhD.

One morning, my boss came into the lab and started chatting about what she'd done the night before. Apparently, she'd been channel surfing and happened upon a 2-hour special about bats. She watched all of it, and told me all about it. She was amazed at herself that she watched 2 whole hours of teevee about bats, but was an absolute bubbling font of knowledge about the flying mammals and needed to share with someone.

Surprise surprise, she picked me.

Surprise surprise, I listened.

Surprise surprise, I was sorry I missed it, because it sounded really interesting.

Here's a tidbit about me that I'm sure you'll find both fascinating and a little sad - I'll watch any daggone kind of nature show. Last night it was a show about "The Invasive Flora and Fauna of North Carolina." Very interesting! I learned a lot! I can now tell you that the rainbow trout, starling, mimosa tree, princess tree, and yellow honeysuckle are invasive species that are crowding out the native plants and animals and changing the local ecosystems. Also kudzu! And fire ants!

I've watched shows about gigantic jellyfish invading the Sea of Japan; and believe you me, when I say gigantic I mean gigantic.....40 POUNDS apiece! Disgusting to see a whole deep sea fishing net all a-quiver with thousands of pounds of massive jellyfish, while salmon, the desired catch, swim over and around their glistening mushroomoid bodies. Gave me the heebie jeebies, that did. But, you know, INTERESTING heebie jeebies.

If there's a show on about exploring deep sea vents, I'm there. If there's an episode on about the microbiology of arctic glacial crevasses, I'll watch it. If someone chose to create a film about the life in a drop of water, I'd be all over it, because the filmstrip I saw in third grade was wicked gripping.

But,,,,,, here's the thing: if there's a show on about some kind of really gross surgery or somebody with a deformity or conjoined twins, I might have to DVR the uber-geek biology show. 'Cause, y'all, freaks of nature trump regular-old nature any day.


Got any shameful teevee watching secrets you'd like to share? Any infomercial lovers out there? Anybody addicted to HGTV (another of my shameful secrets)? Anybody wanna tell me how they've watched every single episode of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (like I maybe have)?

C'mon, get it out in the open. You're among friends.

(Also, if you want pictures of the banana melanoma being nuked into oblivion, let me know. I've got a digit-cam and I'm NOT afraid to use it.)

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