November 13, 2003

"Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys"

Alex sent us this article yesterday, about the apology being given by the villagers of Nabutautau, Fiji to the descendants of the Reverend Thomas Baker for their own ancestors having clubbed and eaten him back when that sort of thing went on more often. They're hoping this will lift what they see as a curse of bad fortunes plaguing the community ever since. I suppose they feel that eating missionaries registers a bit higher on the Evil Meter than just eating your neighbors in the normal run of things, or else all of Fiji would be having "Sorry we boiled your great-great-granddad" parties all over the place, and time for little else.

(I don't know, though - I feel a bit let down by the whole event. Part of me feels like, if there was any poetry in the universe, they'd have gathered all those folks into the village, started to feel the effects of a few rounds of klava, looked around, and said, "Oh, what the hell, for old times' sake. Break out the forks, lads.")

We were in Suva too briefly to go see the Rev. Baker's boot in the Fiji Museum (apparently the only thing left uneaten; waste not, want not), but since we heard that particular nugget of island history I've been wanting to do a Jenny Haniver story set in Fiji, using that incident - one of the few recorded cases of white men being victims of cannibalism, by the way - as the seed idea. I may play with that after The Vasty Deep goes through a rewrite or two.

Speaking of which, since I'm not posting the WIP online this year (first-publication rights, y'know), if you're one of my loyal readers and want to get a load of this travesty while it's still happening, let me know. I won't vouch for the quality of either the plot or the prose, but it does have monsters, and magicians-in-big-coats, so that's good. And I just dropped in the first weird supernatural sex scene last night, right before 10k. Hooray!

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