He Said She Said – The Banana Thief!

Today we’re bringing you another round of He Said/She Said. These posts are really your chance as readers to hear how discussions (and sometimes disagreements) play out when managing our lives with each other. For a look at some of the past He Said/She Said discussions – check ‘em out here.

glean

She’s pretty excited about the bananas…

Our He Said She Said posts have slowed down in frequency a bit, largely because we haven’t really been disagreeing lately. But, something started to grow recently that has brought an old issue where we agree to disagree back to the front burner.

So what’s growing? Bananas. Our neighbor’s bananas to be specific.

There’s a nice little bunch of bananas growing just a few feet beyond our property line that I look at and lust after. I’m eagerly waiting for the day they turn yellow and drop to the ground at which point I will most likely swoop in and grab ALL THE BANANAS.

Mr. PoP thinks this is stealing and crosses the boundary of frugality. I say it’s gleaning and a practice endorsed by the Bible…

She Said

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A pile of gleaned mini bananas, and two traditional grocery store bananas for scale.

So let me set this up a little more. I’m convinced our neighbors have absolutely no clue these banana plants exist. These bananas grow between our back patio and the side of our neighbors’ house. They’re not viewable from any point inside their house, and to top it off, this isn’t our neighbors’ permanent residence. It’s a vacation home, and they own at least two other homes that they split their time between. So, cumulatively, I think they spend about 4 months/year living next to us and precisely 0 seconds/year contemplating their banana plants.

Could I remind them about their bounty?  Perhaps.  But I’ve only spoken to them a couple of times (offering help with flat tires), so it might be awkward to walk up the next time they’re around and say, “Hi!  I glean your fruit when you’re not around so it doesn’t rot on the ground.  Is that okay?”

These bananas (and this is now the 3rd bunch I’m eyeing) always seem to sprout and grow when our neighbors are out of town. So if they happen to ripen and fall when the neighbors are gone, I feel like I’m being neighborly in picking them up before they can attract pests. If I were to leave them to rot there until the landscapers make their weekly visit it’d probably be pretty gross.

I’ve tried gleaning other fruit from this yard as it falls (the papayas have so far all been maggot ridden), but the bananas were a huge win when they fell from the banana plant around this time last year. I gathered up a TON of tiny bananas (this banana plant is the variety that produces the little 3-4″ bananas) and made a lot of tasty banana bread.

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Waiting for the sea grapes to ripen!

In fact, it was such a success that I’m not only eyeing this new batch of bananas and hoping it ripens before our neighbors come back into town, but I’ve also got my eyes on the bumper crop of sea grapes on some vacant lots by the beach that are taking their sweet time to ripen. Sea grape jelly is apparently an old traditional Florida recipe, and I can’t think of a better way to try it than with some awesome gleaned sea grapes!

And I bet Mr PoP will like the sea grape jelly just as much as he enjoyed all that banana bread.

He Said

I love my wife, but she has a bit of a cunning streak that makes me nervous sometimes. We’re both upstanding members of this community, pay our taxes and exchange pleasantries on our nightly walks. You would never guess that in the dark of night she’ll sneak into somebody’s backyard and steal their bananas.  [Mrs PoP – it was the middle of the afternoon and I bet my feet were still on our property for the bananas!  The papaya is another story…  I was definitely in their yard for those.]

While she loves to quote bible verse, allow me to quote directly from the Florida Criminal Statutes-

(1) A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

Oddly enough, I love the idea of dumpster diving. What gets me is our neighbors have no idea this is going on! With dumpster diving, somebody essentially said “I am done with this item, and hope to never see it again.” The only difference is in who picks the item up-you or the trash man.

So what do you think? Is Mrs PoP stealing or gleaning?

 

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