Drawing by Mr K.
Cannibals are an unfortunate reality of our apocalyptic world. Statistically they make up a smaller portion of the post-panic population than our other foes — zombies, marauders and rabid dogs. While we may spend most of our time fending off the undead, I want to take a page or two to discuss these rare but unwelcome flesh-eaters and why they make for such dangerous houseguests.
Reason #1: Ordinary people can turn to cannibalism at any time
Not long ago, one of our fellow survivors Mr. Morton turned into a cannibal on a dime. All it takes is a little desperation before your comrades begin to look delicious. Unfortunately, cannibals do not tend to declare their intentions before they try to eat you, so one must remain vigilant to look for signs of a change in dietary orientation.
Reason #2: Cannibals cannot be reformed
At our colony, we have a zero-tolerance policy for cannibals. From what we can surmise, once you’ve tasted the sweet flesh of your fellow man, you can’t go back to eating blueberry pie. For this reason, we’ve instituted a policy that anyone caught red-handed (or just with a hand that doesn’t belong to them) can be executed without trial. We’ve learned the hard way from other survivor groups who did exercise tolerance, since….
Reason #3: Cannibalism is contagious
We don’t know why, but one pioneering people-eater can turn a whole survivor group into a roving pack of cannibals. Let’s attribute it to the “one bad apple spoils the bunch” theory. Basically, once one member of a small group relaxes an important human standard, the rest of the community tends to follow suit. This is no big deal when it comes to small social mores such as forgetting to keep your elbows off the table, but is quite another matter when it comes munching on human flesh.
Reason #4: Cannibals looks like ordinary people – but with subtle differences!
There are some ways to tell a people-eater from an ordinary omnivore. Like mad cow disease, eating human flesh has neurological consequences. Therefore, cannibals exhibit some telltale symptoms that are easy to spot if you know what to look for. For example, cannibals tend to shake and shiver a great deal. They also display great emotional instability and – perhaps most ghoulishly – they laugh sporadically at nothing . (This can be flattering at first, as you may think that your sense of humor is finally being appreciated, but do be wary!)
Once you’ve identified that your houseguest has cannibalistic tendencies, we recommend you act swiftly to rectify the problem. Weapon choice is at your discretion, but I suggest a penknife tucked discretely up your sleeve!