Short Story | ‘The Banana Peel Slip’ by Michael Ilkiw, Illustration by Daniele Murtas
Have you ever slipped on a banana peel? Probably not. Because banana peels aren’t particularly slippery.
When I was a child, maybe six or seven, my brother and I were convinced of the banana peel’s slippery attributes due to a healthy diet of cartoons and video games. Bugs Bunny was always throwing down banana peels to lose his predators, be it Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, or Daffy Duck. He had some great wit, that Bugs Bunny. In Mario Kart, you could drop banana peels behind you as you raced to make your fellow competitors spin out. None of the characters had any superior banana peel powers from the next.
But I digress, as these pop culture references are just selfish ways to show my pop culture knowledge and won’t really progress the story much.
So, my brother and I would try these banana peel tricks. We would eat around 5-10 bananas a day for days, so we would have enough peels to test our hypothesis. We tried running and chasing after each other; throwing the banana peels down behind us to cause each other to slip up. But the other always instinctively dodged the peel, because who wants to be the fool in the banana peel slip?
As running and chasing proved too difficult to achieve the goal of our experiment, we decided to place the peels in a row and run at them. We ran towards the peels but when we came upon them, we would both, subconsciously, continue our stride over the peels. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to play the fool.
So, we thought, “we have 30-40 peels. Let’s place them in a box-shape. We’re bound to step on at least one.”
So we did. And we stepped on almost all the peels. But neither of us slipped. At that point, it seemed to us, that our hypothesis had been proven wrong.
Little Andrea Campbell walked around the corner. Little Andrea Campbell was a year older than myself but somehow half the size. She had short wavy blonde hair pinned to her head, like a flapper from the 20s. She had eyes as green as the emerald skies of the aurora borealis. A smile that was brighter than the noon sun in July.
My brother and I laid eyes on her at the exact same time. Our boredom and disappointment in our experiment had changed to hearts racing, pupils dilating, and mouths gaping. Little Andrea Campbell saw us in our driveway and waved. As her house was on the corner, she was only mere steps from being inside. But my brother and I were both determined to retain her attention.
We both did our best to run over to Little Andrea Campbell but to no avail. We ran in place for minutes as the banana peels kept us on an insufferable loop of idleness, our legs windmilling for what seemed like days. First, I went down. Right on my back. Scraping my elbow. Why there weren’t any peels to break my elbow’s fall, I’ve no idea. My brother stayed up, being better at balancing his body. He even managed to advance a few inches before falling.
Flat on his face. Knocking out his two front teeth.
The bed of brown and yellow was about to turn. There was blood everywhere. His eyes were fire hydrants. Kids on the street could dance in his tears.
I ran inside, holding my elbow. As I turned the corner from the dining room to the kitchen, I bumped into my mother.
She saw tears swelling in my eyes and babied me, thinking my brother had pushed me down, or called me names, or something.
I screamed, “Mom!”
And I dragged her outside. We flew out the front door, only to find Little Andrea Campbell, hair pinned to her head, holding my brother’s bloody face in her lap.
He was no longer crying; no longer bleeding; no longer hurt. In fact, he was smirking, as if this whole slip experiment was concocted just to get the girl.
He turned to me, and said, “The bananas won’t make you slip, but they’ll sure make you fall. And fall hard at that.”
Illustration by: Daniele Murtas