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The Cannibals are Coming

I woke up the other day because there were two Maoris knocking at my door.

Maoris are the original Polynesian natives of New Zealand.

These dudes were in dark suits and looked like IBM reps except they were carrying spears and their faces were tattooed with the markings of ancient warriors.

“What can I do for you?” I asked.

“We want you to join the Maori Church,” said the taller of the two. He wore a name tag that read Brother Kiwi.

“I’m happy with my religion,” I said.

“Do you eat people?” asked his companion, Brother Pahodakowa.

“What do you think I am, a cannibal?” I asked.

“That’s why we’re here,” he said. “Our people have always been cannibals and we think you should be one. We are on a mission to convert the world to cannibalism.”

“You came all the way from New Zealand to tell me that I should eat people?” I asked.

“That’s right. In the Maori Church you’re encouraged to eat your enemies. It’s a great way to trim the exploding population,” said Brother Pahodakowa.

“Sorry,” I said, “But I’m a Christian. Eating people isn’t part of my belief system.”

“Sure it is,” said the other Maori. “Every Sunday millions of Catholics eat the body of Jesus Christ when they take the sacrament.”

“I’m not a Catholic,” I said.

“We know that,” said Brother Kiwi. “According to our records, when you were a younger man, you went to New Zealand and told our parents that the only way they could get to heaven was to join the Mormon Church.”

“What does that have to do with your coming to my country and telling me to be a cannibal?” I asked.

“We’re here to save the world,” said Brother Kiwi. “You went on a mission to New Zealand to convert Maoris to Mormonism. We’re going the other way. We even have a division in our church called Mormons for Maoris. Now, tell the truth, have you ever eaten anyone?’

“No, I have not. I would not do such a savage thing, and you have no right to come here and inflict your goofy belief system on me.”

“You thought it was all right to try to convince us to change our religion, a religion which served us well for centuries before the white man arrived and tried to kill us all.”

“I went on a mission,” I said, “to enlighten you. You people used to believe in cannibalism.”

“We still do,” said the Brother Pahodakowa. “Aren’t there a lot of people who annoy you?”

“I suppose,” I admitted.

“Then go kill and eat them,” said Brother Kiwi. “You’ll feel great.”

“That would be against all of the rules of civilization,” I said.

“Ha. Civilization,” sneered the brother. His companion pulled out a chart which showed that since the Maoris had been civilized the rest of the world had slaughtered hundreds of millions of human beings in disputes.

“Don’t you see,” asked Brother Pahodakowa, “that so-called civilized people kill anything they can?”

“Many of those examples on your chart were good Christian wars,” I said.

“Life is war,” said the brother. “Except we don’t drop bombs from high in the sky on helpless, faceless individuals. We kill our enemies, one at a time, by smashing their heads with heavy rocks. And then we stew and eat them.”

“They’re tasty, something like pork,” said his friend. “As a matter-of-fact, our nickname for the white man has always been long pig. When we eat an enemy, we think how precious life is. Consequently fewer people die.”

“You think so?” I asked.

“Absolutely. Take a pilot who drops a huge bomb and kills a thousand people — if he had to eat all those people, how many bombs do you think he’d drop?”

I woke with a start.

It was all a dream.

I wondered what had awakened me. Then, again I heard a knock on my door. Ah, I saw a couple of nice young men in suits. They were hugging religious tracts.

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