The launch trailer for the Fortnitemares Halloween event depicts Peely, a banana with arms and legs and a face, bisected: one half is a cartoon banana and the other half is the cartoon banana's anatomically correct skeleton. I had no issue with the cartoon banana until now. I don't habitually visualize the anatomies of cartoon characters. I don't think of the litres of blood pumping through Super Mario. My natural instinct is to not visualize the genitals of Mickey Mouse. I don't typically imagine what might happen to a Teletubby in a horrific car accident. With the banana, Epic has forced the image upon us.
I have a few questions, Epic. I have a few questions about the banana with bones.
Who did this? Why did they do this?
Does the banana have a humanoid digestive system? If the banana has a rib cage, it's safe to assume that its particular evolutionary track made one to protect the banana's vital organs. What do the organs taste like? What are their purposes? Are they sweet? Tender and mushy or taut and fibrous? Does the banana shit? Piss? Does it eat and cry and scream and love? Make love?
Do its little bones give way when god's teeth come down or do they bend and spring back? Do little hairs stand up on its banana skin when a cold breeze rushes by or when the banana feels a stranger's eyes boring holes in the back of their banana skull, sending a shiver up its weird banana skull ribs?
When the banana is peeled, does it feel pain? Is it as if the banana is being flayed alive? The skin is categorized as a reactive skin in Fortnite, meaning it changes as a match progresses. In the banana's case, it begins to brown and peel. It takes around 10 minutes for the uppermost portion of the skin to lose its grip on the banana muscle beneath and fall down the side of the banana's head. What does the banana feel as its face sloughs off, when the player returns to the lobby and the banana's skin is renewed only to rot and liquefy match after match after match as an infinite procession of teen vultures peck at the skull ribs where an upper banana liver could conceivable exist?
How long will the banana live? Not long. It isn't made for this world. But if it persists, how will it persist? Hope? The unknowable whims of a plant-based nervous system? Does it sleep in a comically large bowl on a comically large countertop? What does the banana think about as it drifts off to sleep? What does the banana dream of? Are there other bananas like them? No. There are no other bananas like them.
Does the banana want to be a banana? Or does the banana want to be human, to join our mess? If so, does it have vested political interests? Would the banana support neoliberal free market capitalism, democratic socialism, fascism? The banana would opt for green anarchism, spending its scant post-match minutes and bowl nights drawing up plans for converting urban infrastructure into self-sustaining permaculture communities. This is why the bisected banana still smiles.
Would the banana resort to drastic revolutionary tactics to achieve its ideal world state or does the banana also live with the rest of us in the age of anxiety, too hamstrung by its banana debts to the banana bank and dependencies and specializations as a cartoon banana laser tag warrior for some invisible purpose to wake up energized and vindictive day after day after day, too old from browning as a result of the implacable phenols and enzymes inherent to the banana's composition react with the oxygen blanketing Earth, too soft and overripe from simply being a banana, from simply existing—wrought from the abyss as a cute Halloween joke—to do anything besides the only thing: queue up, smile, and floss for the player?
I don't know. I'm not a banana. But that skeleton is pretty messed up, right?