Tony Vail, an accounts assistant from Harrow, is facing sexual misconduct charges for carrying a banana through his office in what his victims describe as a ‘sustained campaign of implicit explicit innuendo’.
‘He might as well have just waved a dildo in my face,’ said Eve Brown, a temp who the accused stopped to talk to on the way back to his desk from the local sandwich vendor, who’s also implicated in the case.
‘Or his own cock,’ added her colleague.
Mr Vail describes the banana he was carrying as ‘just some lunch’, maintaining that his intentions were entirely benign and contained no intentional sexual subtext. ‘I was only carrying a banana through the office, that’s all. You try carrying a banana through an office without looking as though you’re brandishing it. I always feel a bit self-conscious when I’m doing it, but I didn’t think it’d come to this.’
Other employees at his firm aren’t convinced, however, and are pushing to see charges pressed. ‘Yeah, he claims he meant nothing by it, but we all saw. The way he was casually cupping it in his palm – it definitely had a bit of a fat end on it, too. He should be on a list.’
Despite this, Tony maintains his innocence. ‘I saw her look at the banana and then back at me and I knew what she was thinking, but honestly, she’s got it all wrong. Then I think I panicked a bit because I let out a little ‘wahey!’ to try and diffuse the situation. It didn’t go down well.’
Even if the employment tribunal finds in his favour, Mr Vail is unsure if things can ever return to normal. ‘In my colleagues’ eyes I’m guilty, so if I return to work it’s going to hard to persuade them I’m not some kind of a pervert. If I need to talk to them while carrying a banana again, I’ll just put it in my pocket. It won’t mean I’m pleased to see them, though.’