As part of our celebration of 25 years in business, we are dusting off some of my classic newsletters. Here’s one from 2006 that reveals the inspiration behind The FruitGuys Bananas.
It must have been the time I was eating my Alpha-Bits cereal and watching The Adventures of Letterman (“Stronger than silent e!”) on The Electric Company, that 1970s post-Sesame Street PBS show. Letterman pulled letters from his varsity sweater to spell words that saved the day. Next thing I knew, my seven-year-old self was walking around the house with a tattered blue cape-blanket around my neck and an individual-sized box of AlphaBits stuffed into my Snoopy swim trunks.
“I’ll rip this P from my varsity sweater (dig, dig, through the box, cereal flying everywhere until I find a P!) and spell PLANT!” I leave a trail of AlphaBits in a neat line on the soil of the potted fern on the deck.
“And this is FLOOR!”
“And this is TOILET!” (Wow, the letters grow in the water!)
“And this is ABXZYMPTFGHLZ! in the toilet!” (And this is an entire roll of toilet paper on top of ABXZYMPTFGHLZ in the toilet.)
Later, when my father asked me to spell PLUNGER and GO TO YOUR ROOM, I realized I might need to find another superhero.
It wasn’t until late 1998 when, after starting FruitGuys that February, I found a banana costume and realized the superhero dream was still strong inside of me after all these years.
On that alter-ego day in 1998, I stood on the corner of California and Montgomery Streets, a proud banana, handing out bananas and telling people about The FruitGuys while making them smile.
Over the last quarter century, myself and many others have worn the peel to bring fruit and smiles to clients. For years, my friend, writer Beth Lisick and I did banana gigs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, developed storylines for the Bananas, and went to Las Vegas for human resources conferences and to film the Bananas discussing philosophy, conditioning, and the Art of the Peel.