Man dressed as banana is a portrait of war

With all the glorification of war that takes place during the nation’s sporting events, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea if a sports team around here pays homage to guy wearing a banana outfit while riding a Segway.

“This could be one of the reasons that I’m still alive,” Matt Birr of Fridley tells KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert.

He was shot in the head during a tour in Afghanistan. He’s lost part of his vision and still has seizures.

He can’t work.

So he dresses in costume to entertain drivers on their way to/from work.

banana_man

“If I’m not able to get a job or work, might as well get people to laugh that are coming home from a bad day at work,” he says, “so I don’t feel worthless.”

His friend took his own life last year and for a few weeks he couldn’t wear the costumes, he wrote on his Facebook page.

Mr. Birr says his effort to get people to smile helps him push back his own demons.

  • Ben

    I’m on the southside of the metro, but I think I need to take the long way home today to brighten my day.

  • Matthew Becker

    He was only 19 when he was wounded. 19.

  • essjayok

    Really makes me think about how I have responded when I have felt “worthless.” No doubt not with even a fraction of the wisdom and wit this guy has. Matt clearly has an evolved and inspired perspective. Amazing.

  • jon

    He heads down my street often.

  • Jim G

    Matt is an awesome survivor.