Friday, February 28, 2014

Bananas, warts and what we do for love

I thought a wart away once.

Scoff if you will, but I thought it away.

It gripped my big toe for weeks, like stubborn toad.  Oh!  I hated that wart!  In the summer of my 15th year, I was certain that because of it, I was unpopular and unlovable. 

After worrying it and worrying over it, I decided to will it away.

Each time that ugly warty growth came into my mind, I refused to look at it.  Instead of touching it and picking at it and coating it with potions and poultices, I said to myself in a queenly manner, “The next time I look, it will be gone.” 

I repeated that mantra whenever I thought of the thing.  And I didn’t let myself look its way for a long, long time…two weeks, two months, maybe more. 

I went about my self-conscious lovelorn life and my adolescent preoccupation with the wart faded.  Then one day I couldn’t remember the last time I’d thought of the wart or glanced in its direction. 
So cautiously, I took a peek…And it was gone!

Really.  Just like that.

Of course I was a kid then.  A teenager.  Full of wonder and possibilities.  Short on skepticism.  That’s probably why my power-of-positive-thinking experiment worked. 

Now, as an adult, miracles are harder to come by.  I’m certain that I could not think away a gnat even though it was going to go on its own.  I’ve tried to ignore out of existence the stream of telemarketers who call me daily, to no avail.  They just keep calling. 

Clearly, matter has the upper hand over my curmudgeonly mind.

That’s why I was most interested in a recent online article:  “18 Surprising Home Uses for Banana Peels.”

Number one on the list – Polish shoes.  Wow!  That is surprising.  And so simple: “Just rub the inside of the peel on your shoe, then buff it with a soft cloth.” 

Presumably a frugal schmo would employ a peel thusly to save money on shoe polish which also does a fine job of polishing shoes.  Although a cursory analysis would show that per pound and amortized over time, the product designed for the job likely comes out well ahead of the banana on price and effectiveness.  Not to mention weirdness.

Let’s see, #2.  Tenderize meat.  OK!  Another revelation.  I mean, who knew? 

Just “add a ripe banana peel to a roasting pan to keep boneless, skinless cuts of meat from toughening up and drying out during cooking.”

Another option would be not to overcook those expensive cuts of meat.  Just sayin’.

Why, look here:  A banana peel will whiten your teeth if you will only rub it on them for about two minutes every time you brush to let the manganese, magnesium and potassium help brighten the enamel.  Of course if not rinsed thoroughly, your toothbrush will become clogged with banana peel pulp, forming a crusty bulb.

Feed roses; polish silverware, deter aphids, attract butterflies!  OMG and wow and big wow!  I shan’t regard a limp peel in the same cavalier manner from this day forward.

And here’s the clincher:  #13?  That’s right!  You can use a banana peel to remove warts!

“Tape a piece of banana peel to the wart overnight for about a week and the potassium will eliminate the outbreak and prevent its return.”  Hallelujah and hooray!

Now editor and writer Ellen Sturm Niz doesn’t specify if the warty respondent should tape the same piece of banana peel to that ugly offender night after night, or if a fresh piece of peel is called for.  I’d say it makes a difference, certainly in a person’s banana consumption.

And successful taping is not a given.  A banana peel is slippery after all.  Better to completely encircle the toe with the peel and tape around it and over the top.  One of those metal splints would be helpful.  That and a couple of rubber bands should do it.

Or, in fairness, maybe the wart could provide its own traction, being so…warty.  Maybe it would hold the banana peel in place, thereby insuring its own demise.  The irony!

In any event, it’s worth it, right?  It’s a small price to pay.  I’d do it – for love.