I am reading a the Fuel & Fuddle tonight. Selections from the manuscript in progress. If you’re in Pittsburgh and you’ve got nothing to do in two hours, come on out. I’m reading with Sam MacDonald (who happens to be hilarious).

My manuscript, for those of you that don’t know, is a family’s narratives of violence in Colombia. Each chapter is a short exploration of how members of my family have interacted with the South American nation’s history of violence. Lots of guns. Some dead people. Some bombs. Sex, prostitutes, and drugs. What’s not to love? The sections I’m reading tonight are about the people in my immediate family. My grandmother, my mother, myself. So for 20 or so minutes, I’ll be up there, talking about my grandmother and Diesel Jeans.

I do a lot of research (and by a lot, I mean some) everyday. Part of the fun of my research is reading the IDMC reports. Occasionally, something I stumble upon just flabbergasts me. Colombia is/was a banana republic. So naturally, one expects the banana companies to do unscrupulous things. But fund paramilitary groups and allow them to massacre people? Not something I expected from Chiquita Banana.

The civil lawsuit seeks a total of $7.86 billion on behalf of 393 victims and their relatives and accuses Chiquita of conspiring with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym AUC, to control Colombia’s banana growing regions.

From Reuters.

Awesome. At breakfast this morning someone offered me a banana. I turned it down, telling her that bananas mess up my digestive track. They also make me want to punch people. And that’s not safe. Chiquita wouldn’t want anything to be unsafe, now would they?