May 16, 2017

Wikipedia had exactly what I needed to find, in a stunning Wikipediesque layout.



I love that the entire joke is the title of the article. I love the seriousness of the presentation, including the faux-seriousness of the explanation inherent in the 2 photographs: "An archer about to launch an arrow" and "A fruit fly on a banana peel."

I can't explain why I had to look up this joke. Let's just say it all started when Meade put the overripe bananas in the refrigerator.

31 comments:

Pettifogger said...

Paraprosdokia.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraprosdokian

Meade said...

Stunning.

madAsHell said...

I always found the statement funny. When I attempt to repeat the line, people just give me a funny look.
Maybe my timing is off.....?

Michael The Magnificent said...

You can tune a piano, but you cannot tuna fish.

Michael The Magnificent said...

What's better than roses on a piano? Tulips on an organ.

Meade said...

"You can tune a piano, but you cannot tuna fish."

Yeah but try canning a piano.

Meade said...

Step 1, you have to lower the roses.

Step 2: lips.

Ann Althouse said...

"I always found the statement funny. When I attempt to repeat the line, people just give me a funny look. Maybe my timing is off.....?"

Some people use this alternative wording: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like bananas."

That might help some people understand it, but it messes up the symmetry, and to my ear, it's funnier when it takes longer to understand it.

You can also add a pause to prod people to see what's funny:

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies.. like: Bananas!

Maybe say it twice, with different inflections....

rhhardin said...

Words are very misleading. That's what they're for.

rhhardin said...

Fruit flies like miscommunication.

madAsHell said...

Maybe say it twice, with different inflections....

No, thanks. That would automatically make it a Dad-joke with the attendant rolling of eyes from the kids.

rhhardin said...

The Amelia Earhart of fruit flies like a banana.

tcrosse said...

Maybe say it twice, with different inflections....

Say it like William Shatner.

MikeR said...

Hmm - I had heard that Google Translate recently became far more effective due to neural networking. But it didn't do well on "fruit flies like a banana", into Hebrew: פירות זבובים כמו בננה which has yet a third meaning: "flies on fruit are similar to a banana". [Drosophila, on the other hand, is translated תסיסנית, which comes from the word for fizz or fermentation תסס.
"time flies" became הזמן חולף, meaning "time exchanges" (a nice translation, really), but
"time flies like an arrow" switched into הזמן טס כמו חץ, which is perfect "time flies like an arrow".
Fun.

Meade said...

Ripe fruit flies like me until I hit the ground with a splat. No one likes that.

Earnest Prole said...

The banana's time is up.

It belongs in the garbage, not the refrigerator.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Wikipedia spends lots of time on the trivial and amusing. It can be fun:

https://xkcd.com/739/

Amexpat said...

When I attempt to repeat the line, people just give me a funny look.

It wouldn't work as a stand alone joke but it would be a funny retort. So next time someone says "time flies like an arrow"(might have to wait a while), you quickly respond, Groucho like, "yeah and fruit flies like bananas".

Curious George said...

"Earnest Prole said...
The banana's time is up.

It belongs in the garbage, not the refrigerator."

You should never put a banana in the refrigerator.

tcrosse said...

Fruit flies like a banana, house flies like shit.

traditionalguy said...

More original Shakespeare speak lost in translation? This is the rubrics cube of Blogs.

Big Mike said...

I first saw that one circa 1972, studying computational linguistics in graduate school. I remember that the professor was somewhat excited by Chomsky's transformational grammar, but if seemed to me then and now that we were looking at Chomsky type one context sensitive grammar: there is no such member of the insect world called a "time fly" nor does any sort of fruit fly of its own will. We also spent time on "It is easy to please John," versus "John is easy to please," versus "John is eager to please." The first two sentences have very different structures but identical meaning while the last two have identical structure (and differ only by one phoneme when spoken) but very different meanings. I thought maybe we humans were getting close to computer speech understanding. Forty-five years later maybe we're still far away.

dbp said...

Bananas do not like half measures: Eat all, or none of a banana. Leave them at room temperature, or when they reach the limit of ripeness, peel them and put them in the freezer for smoothies. Or baking.

The only banana permitted into the fridge is if it is sliced and part of a fruit salad. The acid from other fruit will likely keep the bananas from turning brown, but you are taking a big risk.

Wilbur said...

It sounds like one of those jokes on the funny page of Boys Life, circa 1964.

Here's one I remember: Why is a dentist like a Yankee fan? One pulls for the roots, the other roots for the Yanks.

1964? Wilbur is not old - he is seasoned and experienced.

Ann Althouse said...

Who cares if the skin turns brown?

You ripen them out of the refrigerator, and I like them really ripe. But at some point, they get weird, and the refrigerator preserves them longer at the good stage.

I don't care if the peel turns brown, but I don't like them in the refrigerator because I'm used to room-temperature bananas. I don't want cold bananas. I don't know why, but that's how I feel.

The issue ultimately had to be determined by the problem of fruit flies, which have an uncanny way of appearing.

vanderleun said...

"You ripen them out of the refrigerator, and I like them really ripe."

An overshare in so many ways.

ddh said...

I'm glad you didn't use an unofficial film. Who knows the consequences if you did that?

RLB_IV said...

Long ago during the time of mullets bananas were frozen on a stick and dipped in chocolate for your enjoyment.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I have just been red-pilled/demondegreened on the "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana" joke.

I always thought it was,

Fruit flies like a banana = Fruit - it flies like a banana flies (i.e., awkwardly).

OMFG, fruit flies! Never in a million years...

Thanks to the power of the Althouse Vortex!

Altex?

vicari valdez said...

it was a meme for a while to go into wikipedia and write in a detailed and faux-serious synopsis of different rap lyrics. the funnies and most popular was for snoop dogg's 'gin and juice.'

Ty said...

Be sure to visit the Too Slow section of the Wikipedia entry for High Five.