A group of tourists was shipwrecked and reached safety on an uncharted island. The island was inhabited by savages who surrounded the worn and waterlogged group huddled on the beach and immediately announced that they intended to eat them all.
"You're inhuman!" cried one fat tourist with a Hawaiian shirt.
"It's our island fatso," said one savage with a necklace made of human finger bones.
"Yeah," said another savage, drooling a bit while eying the group, "when in Rome..."
The tourists were herded to a hotel where they were all given drinks and potato salad. Though alarmed, most were famished and dug in with gusto. The natives checked them in at spear point, noting body weight and other physical characteristics that might affect taste and cooking time. A native woman handed out moist towelettes to those waiting for the others to finish being checked in.
"Hey, everybody!" said the tour guide, an athletic type with a big chin, "can't you see they're just fattening us up for the slaughter?" There was general agreement, but nobody could think of a good alternative so they just milled about the hotel lobby, finishing their snacks.
Some of the tourists took rooms in the hotel while others moved into nearby bungalows. There was an orientation and a big dinner afterwards where tribal leaders introduced themselves and spoke about the local attractions and handed out chits for laundry service and urged the tourists not to smoke.
When the initial lounging subsided, there were plenty of activities to keep people busy. There were craft fairs and windsurfing classes. Many of tourists got involved in projects. A few whiners tried to escape, but the savages were in the bushes and drove most of them back with spears.
Folks settled in pretty well and met with other castaways who had arrived earlier and some who came later. At first there was plenty of talk about being eaten and what horrible people the natives were, but after a while most got involved in other things like yoga groups and volleyball teams. There was still speculation about the inevitable, but it was more like chit chat.
After many years, the naturalized inhabitants of the island began to die off. The natives were very attentive to the sick and feeble and provided extra comforts, easing the decent into old age.
"So, I thought you guys were going to eat everybody?" chuckled the once fat but now merely lumpy tourist as he was wheeled onto a sun porch for some fresh air outside the rest home where he now lived. He had become a champion cliff diver and scuba instructor with a gaggle of young ladies ever hanging on his arm.
"Oh, we'll eat you folks, alright," said the savage in charge of caring for him.
"Well, I used to be a meaty treat but now I am all blotchy skin and bones," he laughed more to himself than to his diligent but taciturn host-nurse. "Not much of a meal anymore. What are you savages waiting for anyway?" He thought the natives were all just a bunch of spineless twits.
The savage bared his teeth, his greasy war paint cracking on his small brown face and said, "You just wait."
The tourist guide, now a paunchy beach party patriarch, also mused on the irresolute threats of his savage 'captors'. "I have certainly past my prime beef stage." He had invented novel cocktails as a hobby and had written several plays. He even kept a few savages to wait on his personal needs.
Other tourists had also done whatever they wanted and had more or less excellent lives of creativity and self development in their captivity. As the constant threat of eventually being eaten never materialized, they grew indifferent and then abusive to the natives, making them the butt of scurrilous jokes and inconveniencing them with exorbitant, self indulgent requests.
A substantial group of survivors had escaped in the initial moments of their captivity and had hid themselves from the luxury of the native 'death camp'. They subsisted on putrid berries, brackish water and monomaniacal fear. They peered grimly though the bushes to observe the secret burial ritual the savages reserved for their prisoners who passed away.
The savages interred the bodies on large dishes amidst piles of the islands most beautiful and exotic fruits and flowers. They danced a solemn dance and sang the praises of their victorious warrior gods who received the prizes of furious hope and patient self denial.
Vegetable Barley Stew
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