This was published in yesterday’s ProJo.
Some years ago, I said to my wife, Diane, that one evening for supper I wanted to have something I hadn’t had in years — a good old-fashioned banana split. That desire arrived not many days later on a perfect hot summer day. I called from the office, and off we went to the Newport Creamery. I wanted to “recommit to the split.” The familiar green and white sign of “The Creamery” beckoned. The waitresses were wearing matching green and white striped uniforms.
A counter seat it had to be. I slid onto the red stool, and with an urge to go three-sixty, whirled back and forth like the old days while I eagerly awaited the waitress. “Need a menu?”
“No, thank you. I know what I want. A banana split. Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream … pineapple, strawberry and chocolate toppings … whipped cream, walnuts and a maraschino cherry(a srory for another blog);the full boat, please.”
Wearing a suit and tie, having come directly from the office, I was not exactly dressed for a banana split, though I wasn’t quite sure what proper banana split attire would be. Might it be the same as it was for the Awful Awful, drink two, get one free … white T-shirt, khaki pants, Keds sneakers and a brown belt?
“Here it comes.” I sat up straight, bent my head and looked at it. The boat dish seemed smaller, but everything was there, I thought. Diane looked at the boat and then at me. With a puzzled look, she asked, “Where are your bananas?” I looked deeper. There were no bananas! I tapped the spoon on the end of the dish, raised my hand and summoned the young lady with a wide, hurried, brisk wave. Bubbly, she bounced to us with a smile on her face and a spring in her step.
“Yes, how can I help?”
“Right. Yeah. Uhhh, I haven’t had a banana split in a long time, but I am sure there should be bananas in it. They still do that, right?” I looked away, trying to shield a glare. Diane gently grabbed my arm, suggesting that being older than 6 years of age, I not make a scene. I squirmed, ready to stand and shout, “Where are my bananas!”
“Oh, my goodness’” the waitress said, smiling. “That’s the second time this week I forgot to put them in. Just a moment. I’ll get you some bananas.” She returned with a small dish of small, vertically sliced bananas. My anger slipped to disappointment. Feeling sorry for myself, I calmed down and with hunched shoulders, proceeded to cut the bananas with my spoon and mix them into the ice creams — but it wasn’t the same. It could not be done. And, I spilled chocolate on my tie.
Disappointed, I strolled to the door where I met an old friend sitting at the counter. “Like bananas, do you, Ed? I see you asked for more.”
“Oh yeah. Bananas. Love ’em”