The banana is not a standard or scientific unit of measure.
It isn’t even accurate. But isn’t accuracy really for people who build bridges and count how many eyebrow hairs they have? Let’s face it, not everything in the world needs a laser scan that can tell you the shoe size of a molecule.
People like inaccuracy. We say it’s [some hour] o’clock when it’s anywhere within 29 minutes of that hour. When we say it’s about two and a half miles down that-a-ways, we really mean it’s over there and far enough away that we’ll probably be long gone by the time someone could return to complain about our inexactness.
Conversely, accuracy can even freak people out. Give someone an answer down to the thousandth and take note of how quickly it takes for them walk away from you. It’ll probably be about .0042 seconds.
Sometimes guestimates are the best course. For parents, sometimes that all that’s possible with our frazzled heads. About this much; a bunch; a bit; just one sec; a smidge here; a tad there. But there’s a better way now. The banana.
Break free of the snobby bonds of accuracy and precise units of measured length. Don’t be crushed in the iron fist of things like “standards” and “regulations.” Use the banana.
Banana Added for Scale, the Origin
Here’s the story behind the signature joke “Banana Added for Scale” that I add into some Instructional Diagrams. It’s an adventure (not really) back through the mists of time (2010), across vast untamed lands (Facebook), and at last here, on HowToBeADad.com…
|August 30, 2010
I have a 60yo tiny antique safe I once got from my grandparents. I set the combo about 18 years ago, forgotten. It has two dials that split the alphabet between. 13 x 13 = 169 possible combinations. I can hear my forgotten stuff rattling around… So, I’ll see you all, at most, 169 combos later.
(Banana added for scale)
Friends commented in on the banana joke as much as the puzzle of the safe. One close friend offered that if I ever got into it, I’d be disappointed because what I’d imagined was probably utterly magical. Like a dried up, petrified banana. Which turned out to be true. The disappointment, not the petrified banana.
|The next day
The safe hath been cracked!!! I U was the winner. The safe contained $5.35 in change and about a 20 year old Chuck E Cheese token.
Yeah. Rather anticlimactic. I was tempted to send my future self a message. To close up the safe and see what happens to a banana another twenty years out. But I just closed the thing up and forgot the combo in .0042 seconds.
See All the “Banana Added for Scale” Instructional Diagrams
Practical applications of the Banana unit of measure.
Facebook is kinda bananas.
Different definition though.