All right, so I’ve made myself watch the series a few more times, and in the spirit of reading far too much into things, I’ve attempted to write a short essay that explains everything. Here goes.
Salad Fingers was born in the South of England, at the time of the outbreak of the Great War. He is the only son of his father and mother, Jeremy Fisher and Marjorie Stewart-Baxter, who also happen to be cousins. As a young child, Salad Fingers discovers a diary written by Jeremy, which contains an entry describing the day Marjorie’s father confronted Jeremy about the affair. This dialogue is re-enacted by Salad Fingers in Episode 6.
Salad Fingers discovers that he has masochistic tendencies and enjoys the feeling of rusty metal against his skin, but feels unable to discuss this with anyone. He is a strange child, prone to illness, and has no friends at school.
The Great War goes on and, for his own safety, Salad Fingers is sent to live in Croxley with his Auntie Bainbridge, his mother’s sister, and a widow. Auntie Bainbridge puts Salad Fingers to work on the farm, and also gives him music and singing lessons. Salad Fingers continues to read a great many books, and experiments with dressing up in women’s clothing. Auntie Bainbridge discourages this, and smacks him whenever she catches him in one of her dresses.
One day, Auntie Bainbridge begins seeing a man called Harry Cumberdale, who is a butcher. Salad Fingers calls his new uncle Hubert after his favourite character from a book, and grows to respect him more than anyone. Unfortunately, Harry is disgusted by Salad Fingers for various reasons and sends him back to live with his parents. Harry informs his parents of Salad Fingers’s cross-dressing, and Jeremy later admits his own disappointment – “I think we’ve been given a duff one, Marjorie” – which Salad Fingers overhears.
A few years pass, and Salad Fingers has a difficult adolescence. He craves companionship and yet fears it, as he is convinced others will reject him. For this reason, he enjoys getting out of the house to talk briefly to strangers, which causes his mother great concern; but his only true friend is a French girl called Yvonne Bourdois. They grow to have a brother/sister relationship, and Salad Fingers dreams of going to France with her once the Great War is over. Jeremy disapproves of the relationship, saying “I’ll have no dirty immigrants in my house”. Eventually, Salad Fingers realises he is in love with Yvonne, but she does not return his feelings, deciding to marry a man named Charlie instead.
Jeremy is called up to fight and leaves Salad Fingers and his mother at home. Marjorie falls into a great depression, and she and Salad Fingers go to stay with Auntie Bainbridge in Croxley. Harry is not pleased with this arrangement. Marjorie, too, grows irritable, yelling at Salad Fingers to make himself useful by cleaning the house. Salad Fingers gets out of everybody’s way by going on country walks, or singing at various functions dressed as a woman.
In his final letter to his family, Jeremy promises to return soon with a gift of a wooden horse for Salad Fingers. It is then that a sizeable bomb is dropped on Croxley. Only Salad Fingers makes it to the shelter in time. Marjory and Auntie Bainbridge are killed, and Harry bangs repeatedly on the door to the shelter before he dies. Salad Fingers realises what has happened and snaps. He spends almost a month sitting alone in the house as citizens are evacuated from the area.
The contents of the episodes show Salad Fingers’s gradually slipping sanity. He has almost forgotten who everybody is; certain names and phrases stick in his memory, but in his desire for companionship, he attributes them to inanimate objects, such as finger puppets and even dead bodies that he encounters. Occasionally, he will hallucinate, thinking he sees his old childhood acquaintances made flesh, and he will often repeat the harsh sentiments that Jeremy would say to him as a child.
As the series goes on, Salad Fingers’s sanity slips even further. This can be seen as the black bars at either side of the video become thinner and thinner, eventually disappearing altogether. His hallucinations are more troubling to him as a result.
Salad Fingers also struggles to maintain his sense of self. In Episode 7, when he pulls ‘Kenneth’ out of the ground, he alternates between calling him his brother (the sibling Salad Fingers always desired) and laughing charmingly at the colonel’s remarks (as a woman would, speaking to Salad Finger’s feminine side). In Episode 9, struck with illness, he pretends that he has given birth and calls the child ‘Yvonne’, after the object of his affections; however, he is quick to forget what Yvonne is as confusion sets in and he switches rapidly from one idea to the next.
Some physical evidence of his past remains. In Episode 8, Salad Fingers has taped a number of hairs to the wall. They belong, from left to right, to Jeremy, Harry, Salad Fingers, Auntie Bainbridge and Marjorie. The corpse of Harry is also seen as early as Episode 2; Salad Fingers renames him ‘Milford Cubicle’ and keeps him close by.
As for Episode 10… let’s just say Salad Fingers has gone completely mad and call it a day.
And that’s the best interpretation I can come up with! Why not print it out and have it close by as you watch the series for yourself? Or maybe you’d had enough of Salad Fingers, in which case might I suggest a couple of harmless Simpsons episodes?
Either way, thanks for reading! If you have a suggestion for this Yeerie YouTube segment, feel free to email me or leave a comment below.