Banana Skins and Broken Noses

In response to this note written by a friend. Apologies in advance to those who may not be able to access that hyperlink.

To  the Janes of this world

Ever since my Grade One teacher said “don’t be angry with anyone, it would invariably mean you’re angry with the man up there”, I was veritably afraid of crossing my fingers at anyone. Even to this day it’s a little unsettling. The anecdote stuck like a blood stain on your best shirt. I mean, who wants to get their wires crossed with the one up there! Perhaps this is the stepping stone to becoming a proverbial Jane.

So these Janes, jaunt about the streets with an air of nonchalance and haply slip on life’s banana skins carelessly strewn on the way. They slip and land face down, break their noses, bleed a little, then stand up, disbelievingly pick up the banana skin (what a glorious feat by a dubiously vacant skin of a mushy tropical fruit) and toss it in the trash. They’d probably have to wear a bandage for a week or two. Perhaps for a month, and then forget all about it and jaunt about once again. As far as a Jane is concerned, this banana skin was flung on the road by a man who was too much in a hurry, rushing to pull an unassuming child out of the way of a speeding car. Or perhaps, he flung the banana skin and ran behind the man who ran away with the fabled ‘pinky sequined purse’, then heroically  returned it to the owner. Surely he cannot be blamed. It would be absurd to hold him responsible for one’s broken nose now, wouldn’t it? It would.

Now, while the Janes are busy on their carefree jaunt, the Lizzies tread circumspectly. They spot the banana skin miles ahead, prudently walk toward it, will not stop until they’ve reached it and on the way would survey their surrounding to spot any Janes who would obliviously be en route their fated banana skin debacle. They’d pick it up triumphantly and toss it in the trash. So yes, the Lizzies worry about the Janes in the world and there would be one too many Janes with bandaged noses if not for the judicious Lizzies. The Janes are always grateful for this but, the fact of the matter remains that, as for the Janes, the Lizzies are little too careful in their lookout for banana skins; they not only invariably find one, but also end up spotting things that were never there in the first place. Is it worth fretting over problems that might be round the corner, but have a fair chance not to be around too? Is it worth hunting phantoms that might be lurking to see you fall face flat? Then again, who’s to say what’s better? After all, no one fancies a broken nose!

As we forget our differences, sip on our glasses of Sangria and ponder upon these, it dawns upon us that all of these are perhaps our forms of entertainment. Lizzies are kept entertained by the game of spotting the above mentioned banana skin and playing ‘saviour’ to the hapless. Janes are entertained by spotting reasons that might have propelled the flinger of the banana skin to do so. The game is played to each others’ strengths; doing what one does best. The Lizzies and Janes are content with the roles they play; Lizzies with being triumphant and Janes with being deliberately and blindly happy. The game wouldn’t be the same if either party decided to quit.

Play on. Be a Lizzie. Be a Jane.



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