During dinner, my uncle revealed another weird autobiographical story. We were talking about the chemistry of bananas, and I brought up the fact that isoamyl acetate, responsible for the distinctive scent and flavor of banana, is the same chemical that’s found in honey bee attack pheromones.
My uncle explained that isoamyl acetate is used when testing the safety of gas masks. They make small glass vials in cardboard tubes that you can crush in an enclosed space, and if you smell banana while wearing a gas mask, there’s a leak. Apparently, he used to buy dozens of these little vials, and then go somewhere in public to covertly smash them, just to watch people try to figure out where the intense banana smell was coming from.
No reason. Just for the hell of it.