explanations

How to Tell when your Neighbours Are Cannibals Who Want to Eat your Children

Increasingly these days, people are cannibals who want to eat your children. Tough times in the economy and disillusionment with mass farming practices (thanks, Michael Pollan! thanks a bunch) have lead ever-larger numbers of people to choose cannibalism over just going to the grocery store. After all, why go shopping when your food source lives right next door, visible from the small holes you've bored in the fence to better observe your prey?

Today's cannibals invariably target children – not because they are presumed to have more flavourful or tender flesh, but because the habit of cannibalism disposes them to see people purely in terms of muscle and bone mass (the bones make a nice stock). Therefore the typical cannibal believes that children, being smaller, will not be missed as quickly.

It only takes a few cannibal families to deplete a neighbourhood of its children and drive down property values. Here are a few ways to tell if your new neighbours have a taste for long piglet.

They run an affordable daycare. Daycares are like candy stores for cannibals. Except children are made of meat, not candy. So daycares are like bacon stores for cannibals. Sure, some daycares are not run or staffed by cannibals, but even the few non-cannibal places out there still charge way too much. Beware of affordable daycare. Telltale signs include:, empty bottles of barbecue sauce in the parking lot, missing extremities on your child, 'self-grilling' games and activities, swimming pools full of marinade.

They have frequent outdoor barbecues. Cannibals hide their habits in plain sight. See a barbecue chained to the deck? Find that you're never invited over for one of their weekly backyard get-togethers? Think about it.

Coded language and slips of the tongue. If your neighbour refers to your kids as “fall-off-the-bone cute,” there may be a problem. And that problem involves your child getting eaten.

Plenty of other signs are discernible to the vigilant parent. Do your neighbours stay in all the time? Or go out too much? Are delicious smells wafting from their kitchen windows? Or even more suspiciously, no smells at all? Do they react with defensiveness or hostility when you call them out on their cannbalism? Do they refuse a reasonable request for regular searches of their home? How about when you put up signs warning everyone that the Bilsons next door are suspected child-eaters? Observe their body language carefully when they discover the signs and the burning effigies on their front lawn. Each little detail adds up.

You know what? Your neighbours are cannibals, and the only thing a cannibal respects is cannibalism. Eat one of their children, just to show you mean business. They may be angry at first, but they'll have a newfound respect for you. And you'll pleasantly surprised at the size of your next grocery bill.

the monkey and the child and the grownups who rule our world

People are confused by the recent 889 point jump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Why, in the face of a global economic contraction, did investors see fit to push the average up to one of its best ever days in all recorded history? What the hell, market playas?

To answer that, let’s first imagine a titanium bunker, sunk so deep in the Earth’s crust that not even two Eiffel towers acting as chopsticks could pluck it out. The bunker is supplied with food and water. It runs off geothermal energy and could theoretically function forever, even if the surface of the entire Earth were turned to slag by an ill-timed nuclear belch.

In that bunker lives a monkey. This monkey has been raised by robots in the titanium bunker deep below the Earth. The monkey sits all day in a room with a big red button and a video screen. On the screen is a crippled, deformed child in another room, somewhere on the surface of our benighted world (possibly an abandoned Soviet nuclear shelter in Kazakhstan, or maybe a retrofitted grain silo in Pennsylvania – who knows?). This child has never experienced a single moment of human kindness or love, not even at its birth, when the doctors held it up to the light and the parents shrieked at what they had wrought. It ekes out its lonely days in its room, sitting in filth and scratching listlessly at sores when the filth-sitting portion of its day gets tired.

This child is the monkey's only entertainment. Whenever the monkey gets bored, which is every few seconds or so, it hits the big red button, and a mallet extends from the wall of the child’s room and bonks the kid on its knobbly head. The child screams, the scream is registered and recorded, the recording is measured out and sent to stock markets around the world as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Meanwhile, stockbrokers around the world gather at the exchanges, wave and gesticulate at the numbers and graphs spilling across the boards, hoot and yell and incant in the hope that their grunts and gestures are imbued with the power to push the numbers this way and that. They don’t know it’s a monkey with ADD torturing a crippled child. They think its their savvy in practice, their acumen in action. But even if they knew the score it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference.