The Death of a Cannibal King

This month’s PUNchline entry:

Ichoo, the fiercest cannibal king in the jungle, was feared by all explorers who went to Faway Island.  As luck would have it, the only landing spot they could use to gain access to the remote atoll was in front of Ichoo’s thatched hut.

Many potential explorers unfortunately ended up in the king’s stewpot.  To avoid that fate, the intrepid anthropologist Dr. Niles Source decided to befriend the king by bringing him gifts.  Soon, the cannibal had so many possessions that he had to add a second story to his dwelling.  With each of Dr. Source’s visits, the greedy king warned him that on his next landing he must bring a more impressive offering.

On one trip Dr. Source arrived with an elaborate Victorian chair which he declared to be a throne fit for Ichoo.  The king was delighted. On fine days, he would have his lackeys carry the chair outside so he could sit resplendent in front of his hut.  As Source was leaving two weeks later, the king demanded another, even bigger chair on the explorer’s return.

And so it went, with each visit: a chair of carved mahogany, then one with red velvet upholstery, then another brocaded with the royal arms of England, and on and on.  Soon the ground floor of Ichoo’s hut was filled with some of history’s most elaborate chairs.  Finally, Dr. Source arrived with the pièce de résistance.  The back of the chair was taller than Ichoo, taller even than Niles Source; the seat was upholstered with royal purple silk, and the all of the beautifully carved wood was covered  with 18 carat gold leaf.  It shone in the sun like a throne for an all-powerful god.

Ichoo declared that he would never sit in any other chair.  His fellow tribesmen began lining up, hoping to take away the rest of his now distained collection.  But the king did not want anyone but himself to have such luxurious possessions.  He instructed his lackeys to put the rejected chairs on the second floor of his hut.

That night Ichoo’s hut collapsed from all the weight of his possessions, killing the greedy king.

The moral of the story is….

Annamaria Alfieri