Watching foreign language nursery rhymes (I’m guessing a little) immediately after waking up in an ill advised pursuit. I now feel a little bit in doubt as to who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing.
And I can’t figure out if there’s any answers on the internet.
Why, why, why is the banana bent?
It’s probably boring to note that it’s because it grow in rows on top of itself, so it’s probably just a natural curling around each other, competing with the new layer, whilst also efficiently using space.
Definitely boring, and I’m not going to translate it into German.
It doesn’t take much to find out that actually, it’s cooler than that. Bananas are ‘negatively geotropic’ which means that their reaction to gravity is to go against it. As the banana plants we use start with the plants pointed down, as it reaches up and away from the ground, they bend out of shape.
Some kinds of bananas are already pointed up, and they aren’t bent!
That’s more like it.
It turns out it’s easier to google in your own language. Translate the phrase first, then you’ll get some common sense, and not youtube footage of ranting German mädchen.
And while there appears to be a song of some kind (they all talk to fast for me to figure out what they are saying) it isn’t a nursery rhyme. It’s basically one of those shut down questions that parents use when their kids are pissing them off.
After you’ve had a chain of why’s long enough, you just respond with ‘Warum ist die Banane krum?’ And they have to figure it out for themselves.
So it’s supposed to not have an answer.
I believe I’ve mentioned before, that I think there aren’t any answers to any ‘why’, questions. Any kind of a ‘why’ answer is a gnostic claim of some kind, projecting teleology and purpose onto the flat structure of how things actually happen.
Even the gravity thing above is more of a how than a why.
So how am I going to deal with my kids?
It’s an interesting question, because I’m blatantly not going to have the patience to give them a 500 word response and an illustration every question they ask. Though that would be hella cool.
But I also suspect I’m not going to shut them down too often, though I may point out the lack of functionality in why questions, simply by making up utterly meaningless and contradictory answsers to each one.
The banana is bent because it envies the knees of the tiger.
The banana is bent because it gave one piggy back too many.
The banana is bent because it’s sad about turning yellow.
The banana is bent because it’s tastier that way.
Until they ask a how question…
Then I’ll probably just google it.
I suspect one day they’ll stop asking me.
That’ll probably make me sad.
And maybe a little bent.
Illustration by Jaime.