[SoundStage!]Paradise with James Saxon
Back Issue Article
March 1997

Banana Cables[TM]

In Paradise, where do old cables go to die? They come to La Casa Saxon, the Cable Graveyard. After seven years of trading in different brands of cables, we have tons of wire on hand. Recently, we temporarily lost the maid under a pile of interconnects. She asked me to do something about this mounting problem or face doing my own floors. After much thought, I arrived at a solution—biodegradable cables. Since our three great natural resources easily disintegrate, it was logical to consider them as raw materials. Coffee and sugar were discounted as sticky to work with, which left bananas. Bananas, yes! Everyone loves bananas. What could be better than Banana Cables[TM]? They ripen in six weeks and then you can eat ‘em. Good-bye to storage problems: Bake a cake!

With concept in hand, I approached a local white collar criminal who peddles investments here in Paradise. With only a modicum of experience in audio (his car has a tape deck), this gentlemen saw the enormous potential in my idea. He suggested an initial capitalization of $300,000 for research, development, manufacturing and fees. Fees were rather steep the first time out, but later on he’ll be able to place stock for less than the $299,000 it cost initially.

My participation was $5,000, entitling me to 1% of the company. Based on future income of a hundred million dollars a year, I plan to get rich from a very small investment. Capitalism is so great.

Meanwhile, Jerry the Broker ( his last name was Schmidt or Smith) thought we should hire a manufacturing guy. I thought we should go for a designer first, but Jerry convinced me that design work was unnecessary. What we really needed, he said, was catchy advertising, a strategic pricing structure, and a secretary with a big smile. After hiring an enormously well-shaped secretary, Jerry gave me $1,000 to go out and buy bananas.

[BANANA CABLE PRODUCTION LINE]Since two bucks was enough to buy six hundred pounds of Chiquita’s finest, I had a surplus for other materials, including hemp for binding the cables together. Hemp, as you know makes the best rope. It also has a calming effect when its smoke is drawn into the lungs. I was able to score ten pounds of hemp with some of the initial public offering proceeds. Capitalism is so, so great.

Next, I consulted my friend Marco, who teaches music history at the University of Paradise, about the conductivity of bananas. He convinced me there would be no problem as long as we threaded the bananas with a length of 22 gauge jeweler’s silver. We agreed this violated the letter of "biodegradability" but not the spirit. Before ingesting Banana Cables[TM], consumers will be advised to strip out the silver and return it to us at the rate of $5.00 an ounce. Since we plan to use no more than a quarter of an ounce of silver in each $300 pair of BC interconnect, you can see how little money we will have to refund. Capitalism is so heavenly.

We then appointed Marco’s girlfriend to our Board of Directors. As a nutritionist, Giselle is charged with drafting banana recipes to include in each package of BC interconnect and speaker cable. Marco suggested we include diagrams of recipes for the dyslexic, whose number among audio hobbyists must be legion.

Finally, we named my former week-end assistant, Vanessa, to do the installation work ANYWHERE in the world. This service will be free of charge with the purchase of a zillion dollars worth of product. Otherwise, the Banana Cable[TM] buyer will have to spring for a plane ticket and ten grand deposited to a Swiss account in the name of Vanessa Rodriguez G. as Trustee for James Saxon.

Beta testing has shown the cables work like magic. Imaging has a jungle-like spaciousness. Low-level resolution includes the sound of crickets on every recording. Dynamics range from a warning hiss to howler monkey in attack-kill mode. When listening at night in a darkened room, one can hear Harry Belafonte singing "Day-o" in the distance, although this mystical experience fades once the equipment is turned on.

For the non-audiophile (read "ball and chain") side benefits include: the cables smell great for awhile; they provide a topic of conversation as they change color; their taste improves as they ripen (up to a point). Morever, Madame can look forward to harvesting all that silver when the cables fully mature and replacement is required (every month and a half). For the first time the beleaguered audiophile will hear the question, "Is it time to buy new wires yet, dear?" All this marital bliss for a measly three hundred bucks. . . .

Okay, so when can you buy your very own Banana Cables[TM]? Not soon, I’m afraid. Seems that a clerk in the Paradise Patent Office registered something called "Cables de Banano[TM]" in the name of his mother. Apparently, the concept occurred to Mrs. Solano in 1976. Therefore, my attorney assures me that anyone who makes cables out of bananas will have to pay royalties to the Solano family until the year 2028.

I plan to live that long. Meanwhile, I’ve researched the possibility of taking the idea to Hong Kong. The problem is convincing those fellows to make royalty payments in something other than Gucci[TM] handbags. Capitalism is so -- complicated.

...James Saxon


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