Ha ha, love the banana stick!!
I've got my own cheapie carrot stick, and I've found them a lot easier for me to wield with precision than a lunge whip for groundwork.
That being said, I think that Scout and I have outgrown it. If I did much groundwork with him at all this summer, I just used the tail of my lungeline to get after him. I keep the stick around, though; sometimes I go help a 4-H-er or a horse-y friend with something and like to have the extra reach.
My sister has a lime green one, she calls it her Rio-Beater or The Beatin' Schtick.