Explain the Banana
During the snowstorms of February 2019 (aka Snowmageddon), all the grocery stores were sold out of bananas. It became the talk of the city, as residents were asking around trying to figure out where bananas could be obtained. This then turned into a running joke as folks were using bananas to measure the amount of snowfall we had.
After the snow melted, someone had the bright idea that we dress up as bananas for SeaScare 2019. I loved the idea so much that I contacted my brother to borrow his banana costume. I put on the giant costume and walked the parade route, greeting residents, including all the kids who shouted “Hey Banana Man!” My picture was captured by several folks, and is even included in the official city photo gallery.
I figured that was the end of me dressing up, but little did I know this was only the start. When the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, residents within the city formed a nonprofit: Brier Helping Brier, which was created to help provide support for struggling households within the Brier community. During Valentine’s day 2021, I was asked if I would be interested to put on the banana costume and help deliver gift baskets. I was happy to help and many photos were captured of me moving all over the city. A month later, the MLT News did a story on Brier Helping Brier and included a photo of me at the top of the article, with a caption identifying me as local celebrity Sham the Banana Man.
Later that month I was asked if I would be interested in dressing up again, this time to welcome back the kids returning to in-person learning at Brier Elementary. Again, I was happy to do so. I stood outside the school entrance with other Brier Helping Brier members holding signs and waving to all buses, cars, and kids walking to school. Our picture even made it into the Brier Elementary yearbook.