His banana Ana and his avocados Arnold

(Rudely suggestive song taking off on the names of toys for infants, so sure to be offensive to some.)

Sighted by Ann Burlingham at a toy store in the Pittsburgh suburb of Oakmont (and posted on Facebook on 10/30/19), these “natural rubber teethers”, in a “fruits and vegetables series”:

(#1) Kendall the Kale, Ana Banana, and Arnold the Avocado: teethers from Oli&Carol natural rubber toys

And then the song (a rudely suggestive riff from my hand):

Name That Symbol.
Or, Prisoners in Rubbertown (It’s a Dirty Little Store)

He called his banana Ana and his avocados Arnold
He called his broccoli stalk Brucy and his radishes Ramona
He called his carrot Cathy and his coconuts Coco
He even called his mushroom Manolo and his pink cherry Mery
He was queer as Brucy and Nellie as a whole circus, though
With a capacious packed trunk
And he sucked the seed of his watermelon Wally… but:
Lips and tongue, Kendall, lips and tongue! No teeth!

The full inventory of playfully named teethers:

Ana the banana, Arnold the avocado, Kendall the kale, Brucy the broccoli, Manolo the mushroom, Ramona the radish, Mery the Cherry, Pepita the apple, Coco the coconut, Clementino the orange, Cathy the carrot

The model for the riff. From Wikipedia:

“Three-Five-Zero-Zero” is an anti-war song, from the 1968 musical Hair, consisting of a montage of words and phrases similar to those of the 1966 Allen Ginsberg poem “Wichita Vortex Sutra”.

… The song begins with a slow, somber catalogue of violent images of death and dying, but its tone changes, as it becomes a manic dance number satirizing the American military’s media attempts to gain support for the war by celebrating Vietnamese casualty statistics. At this point, the lyric begins a repeated refrain, “prisoners in Ni**ertown / it’s a dirty little war”, echoing Ginsberg’s lines:

The war is over now —
Except for the souls
held prisoner in Ni**ertown

You can listen to the original Broadway cast recording of the song here.

Some name references that might be non-obvious. Nellie the Elephant is a half-rhyming name, but it’s also a literary reference. From Wikipedia:

“Nellie the Elephant” is a children’s song written in 1956 by Ralph Butler and Peter Hart about a fictional anthropomorphic elephant of that name.

… The chorus of the song is as follows:

Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk
And said goodbye to the circus
Off she went with a trumpety-trump
Trump, trump, trump

Then there’s Brucy the Broccoli. In my 1/27/16 posting “Bruce Bruce Bruce”, notes on Bruce as a particularly Australian name (and, in the U.S., as a particularly gay name). So Brucy the Broccoli reads as queer:


(not to mention being phallic — as of course are several of the other teethers (“he called his mushroom Manolo” — not to mention bananas and carrots); though some might have hoped for Egbert the Eggplant, for its prime phallicity). 🍆🍆🍆

On the company, from its site:

Oli&Carol is a recent born company from Barcelona specialized in designing natural baby rubber toys for modern parents and their kids.

The creative souls behind the brand are Olimpia and Carolina, 20 and 25 year old sisters who decided to start a business four years ago.

They love design and nature and wanted to create environmentally friendly products in a business where they could enjoy and have fun together.

You probably weren’t expecting Barcelona. Nobody expects Barcelona.


One Response to “His banana Ana and his avocados Arnold”

  1. annburlingham Says:

    I already had 3-5-0-0 going through my head today, so now I have this!

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