April 29, 2002

smokin’ da peel

T. Zenner has brought to my attention the following timely synergy. A recent entry at the Straight Dope asks if you can get high smoking banana peels.

I punched bananadine into Google.com. Seconds later I was looking at the following recipe:

1. Obtain 15 lb. of ripe yellow bananas. 2. Peel the bananas and eat the fruit. Save the skins. 3. With a sharp knife, scrape off the insides of the skins and save the scraped material. 4. Put all scraped material in a large pot and add water. Boil for three to four hours until it has attained a solid paste consistency. 5. Spread this paste on cookie sheets and dry it in an oven for about 20-30 minutes. This will result in a fine black powder (bananadine). Usually one will feel the effects of bananadine after smoking three or four cigarettes.

If you ask me, what you’re feeling is the effects of eating 15 pounds of bananas, but let’s not get distracted. The recipe was attributed to The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell. Turning to Amazon.com, we find the following statement from Powell:

“Author would like to see publication discontinued. . . .”

But you still want to know: Will bananas get you high? Of course not. The whole thing was a hoax first publicized in the Berkeley Barb in March 1967. The wire services, and after them the whole country, fell for it hook, line, and roach clip.


Also tomorrow: Battle rages in the trenches of data extraction! We’ll consult the expert (me wearing goggles) on the possibility of sharpening details in film and what implications it may have on how memory works.