Jul 02, 2021, 06:26AM

Cannibals Amok

Sacrifices need not be eaten alive—a severed finger on silver has class.

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—Mr. Kerry, thank you for agreeing to this interview at such short notice. You‘ve just been appointed to the newly created post of Anti-Cannibalism Czar.

—Yes, thank you. I'm very glad to have this new opportunity to refocus our attention on the cannibalism crisis, and to come up with genuine, practical solutions to a pressing calamity. It‘s high time for the United States and the international community at large to increase our efforts to fight this pervasive global problem, and I‘ll use this position to to do everything in my power to hasten and facilitate this process, so that the scourge of cannibalism can finally be eradicated.

[He picks up a severed finger and starts taking bites out of it.]

—I don‘t take the responsibility that goes along with this role lightly. Being fully aware of the magnitude of the cannibalism problem, I'm absolutely committed to putting all available resources in the service of the task at hand. We simply cannot afford to downplay this evil any longer, or stay complacent about it.

[He sets a plateful of fingers down on his lap.]

—Mr. Kerry...

—For too long, politicians all over the world have paid lip service to the fight against cannibalism without actually setting substantial measures to effect real change into motion. I promise you this, and it's a promise you can hold me to: this ends now.

[He puts the gnawed-off finger onto the plate and picks up another one.]

—Mr. Kerry, I couldn't help notice that, during the course of this interview, you‘ve been eating what appear to be human fingers.

—Oh, those. Yes, I always carry some with me. The ideal on-the-go-snack; practical, tasty and nutritious. Would you like some?

—No, thanks.

—I call them finger food.

—I see; very clever.

—Do you get it? Usually "finger food" means…

—I know what it usually means, Mr. Kerry.

—But in this case, it's literally…

—Yes, sorry to interrupt you there, but the reason I brought it up is that it leads me to a specific point...

—Please, go ahead.

—There seems to be a contradiction here.

—How do you mean?

—Don’t you think that some people might accuse you of hypocrisy?

—In what way? Please elaborate.

—Well, you've been talking about how important it is to fight cannibalism (very eloquently, if I may sayso), and doing that is indeed the role you've been appointed to, yet, at the same time, even in this very interview, you‘ve been engaging in cannibalism yourself.

—I‘d ask those people—provided they're not making those accusations in bad faith—to consider that the protein provided by this food is absolutely vital for my ability to effectively fulfill the strenuous role of Anti-Cannibalism Czar. I owe it to the nation and the world to ensure that I always keep up the fitness level necessary to give my all to the fight against cannibalism, which is such a deeply, deeply important issue.

—But aren't there alternatives to eating human fingers?

—What alternatives are you thinking of?

—Surely there's other food stuffs that could fulfill a similar function.

—Such as?

—Like nuts. Eggs. Non-human meat...

—I don't want to sound touchy, but I'm beginning to get the impression that you might not be taking the fight against cannibalism as seriously as you ought to.

—Oh no! I completely understand.

—Look, of course I could try to come up with some all-new, experimental nutrition plan. But here's something that works; something that has been proven to work. Why would I throw that overboard and jeopardize my physical fitness when so much is at stake?

—When you put it like this...

—You wouldn't want me to collapse from lack of protein, would you? Where would the anti-cannibalism effort be then?

—It would certainly be damaged.

—Thrown back years!

—I'm beginning to see your point now.

—I knew you would, you're a reasonable fellow. Anyway, I'm glad I got this opportunity to talk about the supreme import of fighting cannibalism, and my plans for utilizing this office to achieve some desperately needed progress in this effort. We're all in this together, after all.

[He picks up the plate.]

—You sure you don't want any?

—No, thanks. And thanks again for the interview.

—You're welcome!


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