Classification Deja Vu

The human brain is a truly amazing thing. It can retain, with exacting detail, every last nuance of a painfully dull and utterly trivial tale of mundane minutia that happened to you. Somehow, though, it cannot retain how many thousands of times you have related this tale to the person you are talking to. It is something that has no doubt led my friends to fear talking to me. Well, people out there on the information superweb, I guess that makes you all my friends. Not because you fear talking to me, since you have the ability to check out some porn if you are sick of listening to me. (I’ve begun carrying around a copy of Hustler to give my face to face friends the same option) No, because I am about to write something at I could swear I’ve written before. “But Chunk,” you say, “Why not just check to see if you’ve written it before” To that I say, “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO CALL ME CHUNK!”

Classifications are important. They help us to decide how things should be used. Like, for instance, if I was to pick up a fork. Since it is classified as “Silverware” I know that to jab it into my eye would in fact be a misuse. Likewise, a contact lens would be counter indicated for skewering steak. You can see from this example that it is VERY important to get classifications right, lest we be inundated with one-eyed people with uneaten steak. However, there are a few classification issues that I think we can safely put aside.

First, the tomato. Is it a fruit, or a vegetable? How is this even a question? It is a vegetable! You want proof? Give someone a fruit basket, and throw some tomatoes in there. See how they react. Chances are it won’t be, “I say there, fellow! Jolly good fruited basket! 100% fruit, old chap.” And not just because you probably don’t have any 19th century British gents as friends. What you’ll probably get is something along the lines of “Dude, you put a tomato in the fruit basket.” or maybe, “I’ll kill you! I SWEAR I’LL KILL YOU!” if you decided to give it to a psychopath. And the reaction would be well warranted, because you put a freaking vegetable in their fruit basket.

Next, my old friend the thumb. I cannot count the number of times I’ve had a debate about the thumb and its status as a finger. THE THUMB IS A FINGER! If it isn’t a finger, then what the heck is it doing on the hand? Why would it not be a finger? What else would it be? A toe? It boggles my mind how this got started. You want proof for this one? We have a base ten counting system! That is because we have 10 fingers. If we counted in octal I would bend to your beliefs, but we don’t, which means that the thing that I jam up my nose to fish out the more tenacious of snots is indeed a finger and not some prehensile wart. If you are one of those people who is of the opinion that you have got eight fingers and twelve toes then I need to hear from you. Seriously. I know a guy who’s thumb actually IS a toe, so I’ll let him slide. For the rest of you who deny the thumb its rightful place on the pantheon of the hand, though, you reply to this post and tell me exactly what it is that is slapping against that space bar.

Finally, the humble banana. In the first place, I sure hope we can all agree that this is indeed a fruit. The difficulty we have here is what the banana grows on. Let’s put it this way. We are talking about a towering plant that you need to climb if you want the fruit. It has massive leaves that cast shade on the ground. Birds live in it, the whole nine yards. What would you call that? I’d call it a tree. Our insane botanist friends out there are of the opinion that it is a giant herb. Repeat. A GIANT HERB! I am in awe. I want to see the guy who thought this. Not because I want to talk to him and try to find out what sort of brain disease produced that distinction. I just want to see what he’s been eating. I want to see him make a marinade with chunks of banana tree in it. How big is this guy’s spice rack? And he’s probably the one who said, “Bananas grow upside down.” No, oh ye of giant salads, they grow upside right. We EAT them upside down. What, do you think mother nature got it wrong? Saying a banana grows upside down is like saying a cow is born undercooked.

I’m going to leave you with a few new ones. The way I figure it, if we can seemingly arbitrarily make these determinations, then why not up the ante. First off, snakes are vegetables. Some of them are green and they don’t have legs. The same can be said of veggies, so case closed on that one. Next, the chin is a finger. Specifically, it is a third thumb, because it is opposable. (By extension, the chest is a palm.) The next time you fold a bed sheet by yourself, you’ll know why I’m right. Finally, broccoli are trees. Baby trees. Just look at them. So there. The next time you get hit with one of the wacky theories covered in the previous paragraphs, hit them with one of these. See how they take it. Hopefully some will catch on. Like a ferret.


About Decoychunk

Editor, Writer, and general Knower-Of-Words, if there is text to be read on BrainLazy, Joseph Lallo probably has his fingerprints on it. As the final third of the ownership and foundation of BrainLazy, Joseph “Jo” Lallo made a name for himself when he lost the “e” from his nickname in an arm wrestling match with a witch doctor. Residing in the arid lowlands of the American Southwest, Joseph Lallo is a small, herbivorous, rabbit-like creature with the horns of an antelope. He sleeps belly up, and his milk can be used for medicinal purposes. Joseph Lallo is also author of several books, including The Book of Deacon Series, book 1 of which is available for free here.