Opening A Banana

How do you open a banana?
I’m sure most people will say that they hold it in their (non dominant) hand, take hold of the stalk with the other hand and bend it backwards. If this action fails to succeed in opening the banana they may then resort to a knife or even teeth. Eventually though the banana will be opened.
Now the next question is why do you open it like that? The answer is again, almost certainly, because your mother taught you to.
In a recent conversation somebody pointed out that monkeys open bananas from the other end. The initial suspicion was that this involved wasting a chunk of fruit but a further question exists too. Why on earth would they do open them that way? Well probably because their mothers taught them to!
But this then raised the additional question, what is the best way to open a banana? So in the spirit of investigation I gave it a try and this is what I found. If you take hold of a banana upside down, and place your thumb and forefinger either side of the black spiky bit at the end and roll your fingers against it then the end will split neatly leaving you to easily remove the slightly woody bit if required and enjoy your banana. No mess, no fuss.
In a similar vein I taught myself as a child to do my ticks backwards. Why? Well I realised that ticks were used because they were a quick, easy to make mark – for right handers. Turn it round and suddenly ticks flow easily across the page for a left handed writer.
Sometimes we do things in a particular way because they’ve been taught like that and we assume that this must be a long optimised solution. Sometimes this is true. On the other hand, sometimes it’s worth trying a different way of doing things.
Why not start with your banana?

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