Tag Archives: banana peels

Watchout! Evil Reflections

Miss Julie was just trying to mail a letter. She walked down to the post office, clutching the envelope in her fist. Inside was a thank-you card she’d been meaning to mail for months, to a work acquaintance who had given her a novelty mug for her birthday.

The writing of the card was a saga of its own. She spent weeks weeks halfheartedly reminding herself to buy a card at Walgreens, and waking up nights with a pang of guilt at her ungratefulness, especially since she used the mug every day for her morning coffee. She had been to Walgreens before to search for a card, and several times had abandoned the aisle after failing to find the perfect one. The classic flowered cards were all so boring, but the edgier ones risked missing the mark, and the fancy ones were too expensive…

Finally, on August 6, she forced herself to just pick one. It was a classic thank you card with a drawing of a vase of flowers, and the words “Thank You” curlicued around it. Proud of herself, she paid $4.99 (an acceptable price), wrote the card hastily and dropped it in the mailbox at the post office. On her way out, she narrowly missed this horrifying specter lying in wait at the curb, its evil reflection glimmering in the mirrored bumper of a parked car.

She avoided disaster and headed home. Later that afternoon, she remembered with a pang that she had forgotten to thank her frenemy Gail for her birthday gift, a tangerine-scented candle that had scented her bathroom nicely for a couple of months. She vowed to get the card the very next day.

JS. and Geary outside the US Post Offic It looks as though it_s trying to crawl towards that yellow paper.jpegjpeg

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Watchout! Bad Camouflage

On a lovely March day, our local peel aficionado, Jane put on her new shoes and stepped out of her pied-a-terre into the big city. She was on her way to visit friends for a picnic lunch of moules and escargot. Lost in thought, she glanced down at her lovely new shoes, and recoiled at this unappetizing mess, attempting to camouflage itself among the yellow safety lines in the crosswalk. Sacrilege! She notified watchoutbananapeel, and went on to the picnic.

Later that spring, a similar cluster of slimy street serpents lay in wait next to a safety cone. The nerve!


March 23, Chestnut & Powell. Crosswalk.


May 22, Broadway & Grant. Construction zone.

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Watchout! Slimy train track lurker

Traveling is a disorienting experience. One minute you’re in one spot, and suddenly you’re someplace else. It’s even worse in the dark, when you can’t even see where you’re going. That’s why I always walk backwards at night, so no one can sneak up behind me. Last weekend, a sharp-eyed Californian named D. spotted this lurker in the dark, alarmingly close to the tracks.

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Watchout! Who’s watching you?


Spotted on February 22 in Culver City

Many people ask me for urban safety tips. I’m flattered by the attention and often feel obligated to provide an answer, though I don’t feel fully qualified to speak authoritatively on the subject. As a result, I often invent answers based on what I think the person wants to hear.

Recently a young man inquired about the best way to know if someone is watching him. I imparted my most useful piece of wisdom – to ALWAYS check the bushes. Shortly afterward, he sent me the following image, with a note of thanks for saving his life. Apparently this peel had been watching him for weeks, waiting outside his work. And thanks to me, he was able to have it removed. He offered to send me a box of Bosc pears in appreciation. I told him that it was the least I could do, and I don’t like pears, but a small donation would be appreciated.

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Watchout! Viaduct Vulture


February 16, under the viaduct.

It was two days after Valentine’s Day when I went for a late night walk under the maze of freeways near my home. I always wear a costume, for safety purposes (I’ve learned that during late night walks, it’s best to be the scariest looking person in the vicinity). It usually sends people running the opposite direction, but I met my match under the viaduct- this horrid thing, shamelessly staring me down.

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