Monday, 1 March 2010

Banana or KitKat

Imagine you are a thirty-something secretary who is having a very bad day. Your three year old decided that 3 o’clock in the morning was an ideal time to wake up and play with his mummy, and his father, upon being woken up, could think of no better way of helping out his wife than to mutter dark imprecations under his breath and head for the spare bedroom. As a result, you got out of bed late, only to find that the bathroom was flooded with mucky water, with dark flotsams the origins of which you didn’t want to think about, spewed out by the sink, sometime during the night. The underground service, as the unsympathetic voice on the tannoy repeatedly announced (apologizing, without in the least sounding apologetic), was running severely late, and, when you finally managed to get on the underground without any dislocation or injury to internal organs, you found that your nose was pressed against the armpits of a man who had either an unusual taste in deodorants or slapped McDonald’s mayonnaise on to his armpits. You arrived fifteen minutes late for a meeting for which your job was to place nameplates, of all those who were present, on the table, facing away from the tables edge and bring mugs of hot coffee. Your boss has chosen this day to behave like a bull with a raging headache, looking for the nearest china shop. For a woman who does not have much in the way of natural patience you have coped remarkably well with the lousy day with no signs that the de-lousing squad is on its way; but the proverbial last straw for you was when your boss (who by the way has appalling taste in clothes and is wearing a tie of such garish colour you’re worried it will trigger migraine) decided to get outraged that there were no donuts in the fridge, and you had to go out in the sleet to the nearest Starbucks to get them. The lunch time has finally arrived and you just want to be on your own, so that you can prepare yourself for the afternoon of ‘Team Building Day’, where some kid who has barely started shaving and has hair arranged into glistening spikes with sperm-gel will talk about moving forward and thinking out of boxes. What would you eat: a KitKat or a banana?

Or imagine you are Gordon Brown, the British prime-minister. The bad day of the aforementioned secretary is positively a picnic in the park compared with the kind of shitty day you are having. In fact, for you, it is an unending series of shitty days, each one shittier than the one before, ever since you came to office. You waited with increasing impatience and schemed ceaselessly to get the top job, but nothing has gone right for you since the day you entered Number 10. The country entered into the mother of all recession within six months of you taking oath; you singlehandedly combated it with a initiatives for which you received accolades all over the world; but the pig-ignorant national press stubbornly refused to join the chorus of applause; into the bargain it blamed you for the recession. You knew that you were never as media-savvy as your predecessor (who was smoother than snot on a door-handle); but does that give the media the right to take your unflattering photographs which often show you with facial expressions that give no clue as to whether you are smiling or grimacing because you have slammed the door of your car on your thumb while closing it? The evil, Machiavellian, forked-tongued followers of your predecessor have taken every opportunity to attack you in public, and a series of calculated leaks have left you sounding about as authoritative as that bloke who played Boysee in Only Fools and Horses. You have woken up to another day of nightmare and another leak, this time claiming that you are a bully and that many of your staff were driven to approach a anti-bullying helpline (that is desperation for you). What would you eat: a KitKat or a Bannana?

Me? I would prefer bananas any day to KItKat, perhaps because I am not a secretary and am unlikely to be in the contention for the British Prime-ministerial job any time soon. And I believe that there are many like me in the UK. Banana remains by far the highest-selling fruit in Britain, with reportedly 231 bananas being consumed every second. That’s lot of bananas. I heartily approved of the British Prime minister Gordon Brown's alleged and unconfirmed decision to switch over to Bananas from Kitkats, allegedly and unconfirmedly at the behest of his wife Sarah, who is trying, like all good wives, to get her husband to eat healthily. It is, as they say, a move (or should I say motion?) in the right direction.

I therefore clucked my tongue in disapproval when some silly comedians on the Television took cheap shots at Brown by making flippant and superficial comments such as he was risking alienating his Scottish electorate by choosing a healthy eating option, or by remarking that he should have stuck with KitKats, as that would have neatly symbolised the views of the great British public: ‘Take A Break’. ‘Leave the poor guy alone!’ I shouted at the television screen. ‘Does he look to you as if he needs more problems?’

I think everyone should eat bananas (well except perhaps the diabetics, as it has very high sugar content), although I do feel that by eating up to 9 bananas a day, as he has been allegedly (and unconfirmedly) doing, Gordon Brown might be overdoing it. As they say, there can be too much of a good thing. If Brown is indeed eating 9 bananas, I would not be volunteering to sit next him in the cabinet meetings. While I have not done the exact calculations, 9 bananas will probably produce enough wind to run a wind-mill for a month.

If you are a banana eater, how do you like your bananas? I hate over-ripe bananas; but I don’t go for unripe bananas either—they give you constipation, certainly if you are going to eat a dozen a day.

A KitKat, on the other hand, does not give your stomach that feeling of satiation. You eat one four fingers bar (more than 200 calories, I should point out) and you want to bite into another—it is a bit like, as they say, fame for the undeserving (or cocaine): a little is too much, and too much is not enough. It travels no better than a banana: while bananas are at risk of getting squashed and messy when you are travelling in the overcrowded Underground, KitKats melt and become messy if you are not careful.

There are those who swear by dark chocolate, claiming that it helps depression, and not only because of the ‘comfort eating’ factor that relieves the stress, but also because of what it contains—something called antioxidants and serotonin—which are present in dark chocolates, apparently. But a KitKat is not dark enough for me; I am sure the percentage of coca in KitKat is below the recommended limits that would have enough of whatsitsname that helps with depression.

No, there is no comparison. Bananas are more nutritious and give you more satisfaction than KItKats. So unless you are a secretary on the verge of a nervous breakdown, eat a banana.