Farid Nassif

Banana Fundamentalists

Farid Nassif

Is it your fault because you don’t want to join them? With their crystal pendants and their coffee houses. The smell of vegetarian shit coming from the bathroom. Their organic soap that comes in gallons and their eyes like portals to the world of Mac computers from hours of stroking their cats (that somehow just won’t die) and staring through black-rimmed glasses at their Helvetica Palatino Garamond existence while sitting in the lotus position. Their carrot ginger soup and political correctness, always sparring over whose hybrid automobile is more environmentally sound. Wearing a patchwork of designs that hide every possible curve of their body like a smock. Supporting the poor children of the month by skipping that second cup of coffee. Their collection of Himalayan horns, perched by the hundred dollar kaleidoscopes, illuminated by the seventy-dollar aromatic candles. Their dreams of tilling a Japanese rock garden for all eternity. Oh and the books. Timeless Healing, The Buddhist Anthology, The Path to Nirvana, The Zen Plateau, The Enlightened Age, The Astrological Significance of You—all the literature to keep one on that blissful monorail of hope, love, and patience; centered and warm.

This is your audience while you stand center stage wearing a codpiece and doing that bit about the man with elephantitis of the genitals who goes into cardiac arrest—one of your charmers. The humility of what you’re telling is in itself funny and you know it. You’ve made it a practice to embody your character, understanding that there is purpose in profanity.

You know they don’t like you. You know you were eight the last time you had a rock collection—never mind crystal pendants—until your sister dumped them all into the ocean and said, “fetch.” You know you use bar soap, sometimes shampoo. Your only computer is at your day job (which you have until this comedy thing comes through) and this particular IBM model hates you for making it speak on high volume words like “prophylactic” and “enema” on the Merriam Webster Dictionary site for the blind as you watch the disturbed expressions on the faces of your co-workers. You love clam chowder and calling your roommate a fag. Your car takes diesel. You drink at least two cups of coffee a day and you hate children. You know your shit doesn’t smell like vegetables.

You begin to wonder if your tour bus had dropped you off in the wrong city. You fear that somehow during a rest stop you were left jettisoned at some elitist oasis for people with an affinity for expensive tie-dye, or some rehabilitation center for the comically disabled. They all wish the worst on you as they peer over their Chamomile, cursing you with thoughts of ants in your wheat germ or even evoking some new age voodoo spell where they prance nobly around the house carrying a mobile of driftwood, wearing a dream-catcher on their head and chanting to Enya.

Their babies will grow up to hate people like you. In fact one of the babies suckling on their mommy from afar paused to give you a very distasteful once-over.

You could always dismiss them as they do you. They just aren’t getting it. They’re just what you thought. Mother and daughter, father and son, in love with nature but afraid of a natural.