"There's a story in these parts of a Cannibal King who ruled these islands not so many years ago. Let me pour you another glass 'o rum and I'll tell ye aboot it."
The old man at the bar sidled his stool closer to mine. He had been drinking for hours. I had had two shots of rum. He whispered this story.
"Three travelers in these parts were captured and taken to the Cannibal King. The travelers, a Frenchman, an Englishman and a New Yorker were bound and lay prostrate at the ebony feet of the enormous man-eater."
Uh huh, I nodded.
"The Cannibal King regaled the travelers with tales of his power. Finally, he led them off to the altar on which they would be slaughtered and eaten.
"Your eyes are our jewels," the Cannibal King roared. "Your bones are our tools. Your skin is our canoe."
"The Englishman spoke up. 'At least give us the dignity of choosing how we wish to be executed."
"Granted," said the cannibal king.
"The Frenchman was the first to be executed. He chose to be beheaded. The Cannibal King first repeated his exhortation: "Your eyes are our jewels. Your bones are our tools. Your skin is our canoe."
"The Frenchman cried, Vive Le France." And then his head was macheted off.
"Next, the Englishman stood forth. He chose to be hanged. The Cannibal King agreed and then repeated his exhortation again: "Your eyes are our jewels. Your bones are our tools. Your skin is our canoe."
"The Englishman asserted, God Save the Queen, and was summarily hanged.
"Finally, it was the turn of the New Yorker.
"How do you wish to be executed?" asked the Cannibal King.
"I wanna be forked to death. Give me a fucking fork."
The Cannibal King complied and repeated the words Your eyes are our jewels. Your bones are our tools. Your skin is our canoe."
At once the New Yorker started stabbing himself with the fork and yelled out, "Here's your fucking canoe."