Yes, we have no bannanas

This is going to be tough to describe without visual aids, but I will give it a go.

Cashel (my nephew) sent my mother a birthday card. A home-made birthday card, with an envelope he filled out himself. Cashel (who is 6) wrote my parents address (in thick blue magic-marker) on lines drawn on by Cashel’s mother, obviously. To keep his crazily large handwriting in check. Most of the letters and numbers are backwards. And yet it still arrived!!! The return address, written on the back of the envelope, is also punctuated by backwards characters – and he has written his name thusly: CASH.

That’s it. No last name. It’s positively heart-crackingly hysterical.

But the card!!

Okay, so here’s what it is:

On the front of it is a spectacular Cashel drawing. When I first saw it, all I could do was fall into silence, contemplating the image: It’s obviously a banana, coming out of its peel. The 2 sides of the banana peel are curling down, as though they are arms – about to be placed on the banana’s hips. This is all very apparent. The banana itself, emerging from the peel, is obviously in profile – The banana is looking to the side, and he is wearing purple sunglasses (seen in profile. Cashel’s very good at perspective like that – you can see the side of the glasses hooked around the banana’s “ear”). It’s quite a pose. Yellow arms curling down to the sides, banana-head in profile, staring off at some indeterminate horizon, purple sunglasses cockily in place.

This is my mother’s birthday card.

But then, you open it up – and there is Cashel’s handwriting, sprawled across the inside. Does he say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDMA”? No. There is no mention of “birthday”, there is no “happy”, there is no “love, Cashel”, there is no “dear Grandma”.

All it says on the inside of the card is this:


Heh heh heh heh

We could not stop saying this phrase over the weekend. “Hey, listen. Don’t argue. The banana sergeant is saying he’s tough, and that’s final.”

Of course, once you read the inside, you then have to flip back and stare at the drawing again. Only then do you realize that yes, indeed, THAT is what is happening with that banana. I would not have realized that the banana was a “sergeant”, but I could tell quite clearly that he was a tough-guy. The banana arms coming down, the cocky profile, the sunglasses – of course! The banana srgt. (love the abbreviation) is “saying he’s tough”.


We are still laughing about this. That card is more precious than “the stolen Scream” in the world of the O’Malleys!

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8 Responses to Yes, we have no bannanas

  1. jess says:

    There are tears streaming down my cheeks right now. That is the funniest thing ever.

  2. red says:

    I really need to get a jpeg of the banana srgt. to put up on the blog. It is absolutely classic.

  3. Val Prieto says:

    Classic, Sheila. Just classic.

  4. ricki says:

    The total random wonderfulness that little kids can come up with just knocks me out.

    if you could bottle that stuff, it would drive Hallmark and American Greetings and all the rest out of business.

    I’d much rather send my mom a card with a banana sergeant on the front than one with the awful goopy doggerel “verses” they put in most of them.

  5. Bananaman

    Kids are funny, and Sheila O’Malley’s nephew is no exception. Even without visual aids, it’s a great story.

  6. red says:

    It also occurs to me that the wording of the card raises a question:

    Is the banana sergeant REALLY tough? Or is he a wimp who is just SAYING he’s tough?

  7. susanna says:

    there is some possible irony here. betsy and i were camp counselors at ecc. during the summer of 1983 we shared a cabin in which i believe your sister jeanne was a camper. the irony is that one night for entertainment, they had a contest called “dress up the counselor.” betsy and i were dressed to look like bananas. yellow clothing, chiquita banana sticker made from blue construction paper, branches tucked into our shirts to represent leaves. we sang a couple of banana songs (you’ll have to ask her to demonstrate) and won a 1st place ribbon. it has been over 20 years of banana jokes b/n betsy and me. if your sister was not in the cabin, please pretend i never wrote this. is this the sister that is cashel’s mother?

  8. Maria says:

    Cashel’s mother didn’t draw the lines on the envelope. She watched in amazement as the lines got drawn, wondering “How is it that a child of mine is a drawer of lines?” It must be something they teach at school. On the bright side, now there are lines to read between.

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