Is it a family culture thing? Is it a vestigial practice from the days when taint and food poisoning were common? Perhaps the implicit assumption is that the second-to-the-last banana must have caused intestinal distress or been sub-par because the person who ate the second-to-the-last banana did not eat the last banana.
We see something similar in human pairings. Watching the pairing off in my kids and remembering back: Pride prevented one from even considering the potential partners your buddies had summarily rejected. Our self-awareness may have labeled it as "Pride" but there may have been survival value in it. A potential partner who was rejected out-of-hand by a friend must have had some obvious and glaring defect. Why risk (no matter how small the chance) chaining one's genetic gift to the future to tainted goods
It was considered acceptable to date a friend's former boyfriend/girlfriend after a suitable waiting period. It was common to 'poach' boyfriends and girlfriends. But the summarily rejected were never scooped up by the girl sitting next to the primary target.
Rick Harris once coached me (and a few others) on his method for collecting beautiful girl friends. Rick had three older sisters who helped him develop his method.
According to Rick, you can go into any college bar and watch the following script play out. A young man (or men) will stumble out of the daylight into the dimness of the bar. They will scan the room as their eyes adjust to the dimness. They will identify the table with the prettiest girls. They will walk up to that table and hit on the most strikingly beautiful girl at that table. They will go down in flames. Then they will go to the table with the second most beautiful girls. Lather, rinse, repeat until they finally get some civil conversation.
The feeding order is immutable. It is as if the tables had numbers. The prettiest girl in the bar can barely get in a swallow of beer between swatting off the suitors.
The Rick Harris method is to be a little bit patient. Girls 2, 3 and 4 at each table get zero attention. In all likelihood, the second prettiest girl in the bar is sitting at the same table as the prettiest girl. Perhaps the second most strikingly beautiful girl is a strawberry blonde rather than a platinum blonde, or perhaps her sweater does not fit her with all of the cunning and daring of the most strikingly beautiful girl's.
That girl's ego is a bit battered. And she is awesomely beautiful. The Rick Harris method is to walk up to the strawberry blonde and to give her 100% of his attention. The girl who everybody else is falling over? He gives her the amount of attention he would give to a dish of dog food. He treats her in a civil manner but he makes it clear that she is an unwelcome distraction from the most interesting person in the room.
Back to bananas
The chicken's gain was my loss.
I need to buy some more bananas.