A More Apt Banana Jingle

Imagine the delight here at EN when we were notified of the exciting Chiquita Banana jingle contest. Being handled nationally for the locally based fruit exporter by the PR firm of Bratskeir & Co., the contest is the simplest, most enjoyable way we've heard of this week to win a free trip to Disney World and we just couldn't wait to share it with our readers. Here's the low-down. You know the famous Chiquita Banana jingle, right? Sure you do. Everybody recognizes the bouncy tune and at least the first line of that adorably infectious ditty first heard over American airways in 1944 when United Fruit (i.e., Chiquita before Carl Lindner) was solidifying its stranglehold hold on 410,000 acres of Honduran soil not to mention the country's so-called political life. The entry judged to be the best rewrite of the Chiquita ditty lyrics gets four bodies to the Magic Kingdom and back. You have to use the famous first line ("I'm Chiquita Banana and I've come to say..."), but from there on, originality, cleverness and a commitment to maintaining the US hegemony in Central America is all you need. The EN staff, of course, would like to see wide participation in the Chiquita contest and, to that end, we're going to reprint the original lyrics below, followed by our own clumsy effort at a rewrite, just to prime the pump. It'll probably help you get in the mood if you strap a fruit basket to your head and bat your eyelashes while you hum along.I'm Chiquita Banana and I've come to say bananas have to ripen in a certain way. When they are fleck'd with brown and have a golden hue, bananas are the best, and are the best for you. You can put them in a salad. You can put them in a pie-aye. Any way you want to eat them, It's impossible to beat them! But bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator. So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator!Sure, it's an intimidating challenge to improve on a true classic of the corporate-America mind- control industry, but Chiquita has faith in you and so do we. We promised that you wouldn't have to go first, so here's our version. It's based on an Everybody's News feature series from September, detailing Chiquita's forcible eviction, in early 1996, of 123 Honduran peasant workers and their families from the Tacamiche plantation where some of them had lived for three generations.We call our contest effort "La Putita Chiquita":I'm Chiquita Banana and I've come to say Honduran peasants fear me in a special way. When they are fleck'd with blood and black and blue, Honduran peasants do just what we tell them to. You can put them in a stockade. You can put them in a sty-aye. Any way you want to beat them; It's even possible to eat them! And though peasants like the climate of the very, very tropical equator, We promise you won't hear them locked in our refrigerator!Out of respect for a great tradition, we wanted to stay as close as possible to the original. But we know you can do much better, so take a rip and go crazy. Send your entry (postmarked before August 15) to: The Chiquita Banana Jingle Contest PO Box 1906 New York, NY 10156 (Attn.: Marketing )There's just one other little item you should know about, something mentioned in the fine print of the Chiquita contest guidelines: "By participating, winners release Chiquita Brands, Inc. ...from any and all claims, loses or damages including personal injury, sustained by the winners..." Really, though, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Just tell them we sent you.

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